A Week to Remember
A converted stone farmhouse on the Irish coast is about to receive its first guests in this warmly captivating story for fans of Maeve Binchy and Monica McInerney
What people are saying - Write a review
A Week To Remember is the third novel by Irish-born Australian author, Esther Campion. The opening week of Lizzie O’s Guesthouse in Crookhaven on the Irish coast attracts a diverse group of guests. Ellen O’Shea, together with her brother and her partner, Gerry, has renovated and converted her grandmother’s farmhouse: beautiful accommodation, wonderful food and, and a range of winter activities are all designed to entice.
Cork dentist, Declan Byrne hears about it via the interior design business sharing his building, which had a hand in the conversion. Recently split from his wife, Declan’s life consists of work, his Lexus, his luxury apartment, Uber Eats, a lot of red wine and Netflix. He knows he needs to get fitter, and is coming to accept his attitude (to women and generally) may need adjusting.
Katie Daly is in Ireland only on an estranged-mother-minding mission and has no intention of socialising with guests or locals: she will do her duty and return to Brooklyn. Her father threw her out at seventeen, and she’s never been back. And any encounters with Conor Fox, her grad ball date from thirty-five years ago, is to be assiduously avoided.
For Irish-born Aisling Fitzgerald and her husband Mick, the week at Crookhaven is a gift from her mother-in-law, bookended by the obligatory family visits. Aisling would have preferred Bali over West Cork for their fifteenth wedding anniversary and Mick’s fortieth. The worst of it is that the awful guilt she’s been carrying for weeks stops her from sharing Mick’s delight.
Lilian Fitzgerald has travelled to the north of Tasmania, to her son’s home to look after his children while he and Aisling are on their Irish trip. She’s delighted to reconnect with her grandchildren, and with their close friend and neighbour, Heather Watson and her family, although Heather’s father Doug is hard work: he may be a widower, but does he have to be such a grump?
Mia Montgomery has trailed after her husband on his research trips around various European sites for eight years. Harry’s only interest is fish diseases, and for Mia, the excitement that initially eclipsed the poor accommodation and lack of social interaction has worn thin: Mia is bored and lonely. A week on the Irish coast will be her selfish indulgence.
In amongst the beach rambles, the baking lessons, the spa pampering sessions, the coastal foraging tour, the pub poetry slam night, the hiking, the seaweed vodka tasting, the incidental interactions with other guests and with the locals, there are accusations and epiphanies, shocks and surprises, confessions and confrontations, revelations, realisations and reconciliations. Not everyone emerges totally unscathed, but the ending is a feel-good one. A very enjoyable read.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Hachette Australia.