‘Holiday’ by Joanna Warrington is an emotional drama following a family as they travel across America through the struggles of repairing a fractured relationship. Is it too little too late for them, can leopards change their spots or will the final page give the reader a Happy Ever After?
‘Holiday’ will appeal to fans of travel writer, Bill Bryson because of its vivid descriptions of landscape, culture and wildlife.
It combines story with travelogue and the reader will learn about the places the family visit and the wildlife they encounter.
This book will also appeal to fans of British TV comedy ‘Outnumbered’ and David Nicholl’s ‘Us’ for its tender and insightful depiction of modern family life, highlighting the stresses and strains of taking teenagers away on holiday.
Synopsis for ‘Holiday’
Lyn is a single mum to Mel, Brett and Felicity. She lives in Tunbridge Wells, England in a small house reverberating with the traumas of bringing up three children.
Lyn wakes on her 50th birthday, disillusioned. Despite years of dating there’s no man to celebrate with, her best friend’s moved away and all she can see are the horrors of the menopausal years ahead.
Lyn’s been separated from the childrens’ father, Ray since Felicity’s birth. Ray rarely sees Felicity and questions his paternity after Lyn confessed to a brief affair. He can’t bond with his daughter and thought they had a ‘no more babies’ policy. Lyn deliberately got pregnant to prevent them moving to Norfolk. She has never wanted to move to Norfolk but it was all Ray dreamed of.
Ray is an obsessive birdwatcher and was never at home. With his lens focused in somebody’s back garden he was accused of voyeurism and the police arrested him.
Lyn treats herself on her 50th by booking a family holiday to America in the hope of pulling the family together. She books a trip to Salt Lake City, The Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and Las Vegas. The hotels are booked, the tickets bought, the itinerary planned but when she tells the children about the holiday they don’t want to go. Mel has secured a bar job in Dublin, near her university, Brett doesn’t want to miss the school prom and Felicity doesn’t want to miss the end of term school leavers’ ceremony. The kids kick up a fuss and passports mysteriously go missing and there’s a visit from the police. Lyn has regrets about booking the holiday and gets worried about driving in the States.
At the airport the children lead Lyn to a surprise. To her horror Ray is coming on holiday with them.
When they arrive in Salt Lake City their hotel has burned down and they stay with a Mormon family. Ray and Lyn find themselves in an awkward situation, pretending to be a happily married couple and this means they have to share a bed. They also, reluctantly attend a Bible meeting and are pulled into discussions about religion. Mel is inspired by a tour of Temple Square and wants to become a Mormon.
Ray asks Lyn about the affair she had. Ray shows understanding and regret about their break up.
Family secrets are revealed.
Brett gets into trouble with the police in Las Vegas and this challenges Ray and Lyn’s parenting.
Ray and Felicity develop a bond and Ray agrees to start seeing Felicity regularly when they return from holiday.
Ray announces he has a surprise for the last day. Will it be happy ever after, the standard fairy tale ending or will they realise that happy ever after isn’t so happy after all?