Praised as “Australia’s answer to Maeve Binchy, a modern-day Jane Austen” (The Sun Herald, Australia), Monica McInerney, internationally bestselling author of The Alphabet Sisters, returns with a poignant novel of love, loss, and the enduring strength of family ties.
 
Nestled in a picturesque corner of southern Australia, the Valley View Motel has been run by the Quinlans for years—and nobody adores the place more than Lola, the family’s lovable and mischievous Irish-born matriarch. So when she insists that her relatives spend their Christmas elsewhere, the close-knit bunch can’t help but be a bit curious. Lola has always had a knack for clever schemes; after all, she once slyly reunited her three feuding granddaughters, whom she nicknamed the Alphabet Sisters. And with the holiday season fast approaching, Lola decides it’s time to stir up some extra excitement.
 
Plotting in secret and online, Lola thinks it would be fun to invite a select group of strangers to stay at the motel for Christmas. Will these guests become friends, ignite sparks, fall in love? As she counts down the days until their arrival, Lola’s own family dramas threaten to upend her best-laid plans. Yet amid moments of humor, heartache, and unexpected twists of fate, Lola finds that she’s the one who’s in for the biggest surprise of all.
 
“[Monica] McInerney’s assured writing sparkles. . . . When you reach the end, [Lola’s Secret] will leave you feeling like you’ve been given a huge, warm hug.”—Hello! magazine
 
“A delicate treat . . . a lovely, gentle story of a family, a Christmas, love and different kinds of adventure.”—The Courier-Mail (Australia)
 
“Exploring universal family issues of loss, rivalry, aging and grief, [Lola’s Secret] is a warm, witty and moving novel.”—Woman’s Day (Australia)
 
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From the international bestselling author of Hello from the Gillespies and The House of Memories comes the warm, funny story of a woman who defies her family’s expectations on a journey to redefine herself.
For years, Sylvie Devereaux, the one member of her famous family of artists and designers who has no artistic talent at all, has been the “go to” person for their every practical need, and all of it has gone largely unappreciated. But her sister’s second wedding provides a moment of truth. During the reception, Great-Aunt Millicent publicly offers to hire Sylvie as her companion, so that they can be old maids together.
Is that how people really think of her? Is that what she wants? Only her brother Sebastian seems to see Sylvie as a warm-hearted, talented woman who deserves a life of her own. With his encouragement, Sylvie begins to step out of her family’s shadow, but creating a future for herself isn’t as straightforward or predictable a process as she expects. And where she ends up surprises everyone, Sylvie most of all.
Praise for Monica McInerney and her novels:
“McInerney brings humor and insight into issues of sibling rivalry, family secrecy, and romantic betrayal.”—The Boston Globe
“You’ll be laughing out loud one minute and crying the next.”—Cosmopolitan
“Monica McInerney isn’t just one of my favorite writers from down under, but from anywhere.”—Sally Koslow, author of The Widow Waltz
“[McInerney] brings Maeve Binchy readily to mind.”—The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, Australia)
International bestselling writer Monica McInerney is the award-winning author of ten previous novels including Hello From the Gillespies and The House of Memories, one short-story collection, and numerous stories and articles. She grew up in Australia, one of seven children, and has split her time between Australia and Ireland for twenty years. Monica and her Irish husband currently live in Dublin, Ireland.
In this delightful eBook short story, Monica McInerney, internationally bestselling author of The Alphabet Sisters, returns to one of her warmest, wisest, and most memorable characters: the irrepressible Lola Quinlan, quick with a smile and spot of tea, who always has a generous dose of mischief up her sleeve.
 
Lola Quinlan’s small secondhand shop in the Clare Valley, Australia, is more than just a store—it’s a loving community, a place to feel at home. In her golden years but still young at heart, Lola is delighted when the local teenagers start dropping in, browsing for outfits and gossiping about the upcoming school dance. Yet amid the flurry of excitement, Lola overhears some troubling news: One boy is planning a mean-spirited prank on a group of girls, and Lola does not intend to let him get away with it. With her dear friends by her side, she whips up a plan that will have the whole school talking, and will prove that nice guys—and girls—can finish first.
 
Includes the first chapter of Monica McInerney’s acclaimed The Alphabet Sisters, and an exclusive preview of her upcoming novel, Lola’s Secret.
 
Praise for Monica McInerney
 
The Alphabet Sisters
 
“Vivid characterizations and sharply honed dialogue . . . McInerney brings humor and insight to issues of sibling rivalry, family secrecy, and romantic betrayal.”—The Boston Globe
 
“[A] gentle, life-affirming story. We come away feeling better about the world and, maybe, just a little more tender towards those close to us.”—Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
 
Lola’s Secret
 
“Exploring universal family issues of loss, rivalry, aging and grief, this is a warm, witty and moving novel.”—Woman’s Day (Australia)
 
“[McInerney’s] assured writing sparkles. . . . When you reach the end, [this novel] will leave you feeling like you’ve been given a huge, warm hug.”—Hello! magazine
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