My huge thanks go to Natasha Harding at Pan Macmillan for providing a review copy of ‘Frank Derrick’s Holiday of a Lifetime’ by J B Morrison.
82 year old Frank Derrick has a daughter with cancer in Los Angeles and decides he needs to see her, so he sets off without really thinking through the implications of his actions. The story tells us of his adventures.
Not having read the first of the Frank Derrick books by J B Morrison (‘The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81’), I had no expectations about ‘Frank Derrick’s Holiday of a Lifetime’ but I absolutely loved it. There is a warmth and wittiness that ranks alongside one of my favourite books ‘A Man Called Ove’ by Fredrik Backman and readers who’ve enjoyed Backman’s books will adore ‘Frank Derrick’s Holiday of a Lifetime’ too.
Frank Derrick made me laugh out loud with his pragmatic and straightforward approach to life – even when he’s trying to avoid telling the truth. Indeed, all the characters in this highly entertaining novel are incredibly well drawn and human – including Bill the cat. Alongside the humour is wonderful depth of feeling. There are some moments so touching they brought a tear to my eye.
The plot is simple – Frank goes to stay with his daughter and grand daughter for a couple of weeks and they show him around the sights of LA. However, that is not to say the plot is simplistic. J B Morrison creates scenarios that are entirely plausible but hugely enjoyable – even taking a passport photo becomes like sharing a joke with an old friend. The skill of the writing is in making the reader want to know what happens next and drawing them in to Frank’s life so that they don’t want to leave. I will be reading the first book about Frank’s life as soon as I can.
I can’t recommend ‘Frank Derrick’s Holiday of a Lifetime’ highly enough for those who want a book to lift their spirits and make them feel all is right in the world. It’s genius.