Frank Derrick’s Holiday of a Lifetime is one of those books you just don’t want to put down, it’s such a pleasure to read. At the age of 82 Frank is, by anyone’s definition, an old man but he certainly doesn’t feel that way in his mind if not his body. He hates being pigeonholed as someone who is past his best and doesn’t like to talk about things from years gone by in case it makes him sound ancient and decrepit! This was such a funny book that I found myself laughing out loud at Frank’s antics or thoughts. A scene where he is mistaken for Lady Gaga sticks in my mind in particular, along with his going through security at the airport. Who couldn’t identify with Frank who, “at some point in his life … had neglected to tick a box on an order form and now everybody had his address”. But Frank isn’t a eccentric character, he is just a normal man who is heading to America to visit his ill daughter and spend time with his family. His vision of America has been formed mostly through films and he is delighted when he hears people say what he thinks are stereotypically American phrases like ‘pop the trunk’ instead of open the boot.
The relationships in this story are very much a focal point. The relationship between Frank and his granddaughter Laura is particularly touching. Despite their age difference, they really get on well and seem to be on each others wavelength. Even more poignant perhaps though is when we hear about Frank’s relationship with his late wife. They have obviously been a very close couple and Frank love for her shines through his memories.
I highly recommend this as a real feel-good book. If you liked A Man Called Ove or The 100 Year Old Man, I think you will enjoy this too. It is full of gentle humour and very well written. I hadn’t read the previous Frank Derrick book, though I will make sure to now, and I really hope we hear more about Frank’s adventures.
My thanks to Netgalley and Pan publishers for the chance to read and review this book. It was published on 4th June 2015 and you can order a copy here: Frank Derrick’s Holiday of a Lifetime
What the book’s about:
Frank Derrick is eighty-two. And apparently that makes him old. But he just doesn’t feel old. Sure, his limbs ache, he can’t sleep more than a few hours a night and it takes him a while to get going in the morning. But he’s still Frank. A dad, a granddad, a friend to Bill the cat. So when he receives a phone call from Los Angeles with news that his grown-up daughter’s life is falling apart, his natural instinct is to drop everything to be with her. Unfortunately for Frank, that means using his life savings and putting himself in danger of losing his home. But then, Frank’s never been one for long-term plans. He can sort out where he and Bill the cat will live when he’s back.
And so Frank gets on a plane for the first time in his life. He was never much good at helping his daughter through crises when she was growing up. He left all that to his wife Sheila, who died nearly ten years ago. Now it’s time to step up to his role of father to Beth. Joining forces with his determined granddaughter Laura, they begin The Reunion Project in an attempt to bring some happiness back into Beth’s life and to bring the family back together again for one happy family holiday.