Frank Derrick's Holiday of a Lifetime by J.B. Morrison

Frank said goodbye to the woman, picked up his hand luggage and started walking towards passport control, the departure lounge and America.

Title - Frank Derrick's Holiday of a Lifetime
Author - J.B. Morrison
Publication Date - June 4th 2015
Publisher - Pan
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided via NetGalley)
Pages - 352

The blurb

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, granddad, a friend to Bill the cat.

So when he receives a 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.

Becca's thoughts 

First of all, I'd like to say a MASSIVE thank you to the author J.B. Morrison and his publishers Pan, for providing me with a digital copy of Frank Derrick's Holiday of a Lifetime via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I've been dying to revisit Frank Derrick, ever since reading The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81 back in 2014 (you can find my review here). Despite thoroughly enjoying being introduced to Frank Derrick in his first novel, I found that Frank Derrick's Holiday of a Lifetime had me laughing and snorting just that little bit more, so much so that my partner had to tell me to 'be quiet' because he was trying to get to sleep and I was crying tears of laughter into my pillow. The more I tried to contain my amusement, the worse it became. 

As you can probably guess from the title Frank Derrick's Holiday of a Lifetime follows Frank as he takes his first ever flight to America, more specifically to Los Angeles, to spend time with his troubled daughter Beth and his clever granddaughter Laura. After having loved Frank's first story, along with his hilariously funny antics and matter-of-fact yet amusing way of speech, I couldn't wait to see what scenarios Frank would be faced with next. Frank's views on the world, on cold-callers and window cleaners, as well as his neighbours and the local charity shop's staff, had me absolutely roaring with laughter. I believe that what Frank says is what a lot of people think but wouldn't actually say out loud. Along with his passive-faced cat, Bill, Frank really was the most genuine, side-splitting, and completely down-to-earth character that I immensely enjoyed spending time with. I loved travelling with Frank, being beside him when he stepped onto American soil, hearing his reactions when seeing everything that Los Angeles had to offer for the very first time. It was just such a pleasing, delightful way for me to be reintroduced to Frank since leaving him the last time, and I had a feeling, almost as soon as I began reading, that what lay ahead would most definitely leave me smiling.

Despite the constant laughs, there was a serious undertone to Frank's adventures in Frank Derrick's Holiday of a Lifetime. This time round, Frank's daughter Beth is recovering from cancer, as well as dealing with a break-up, and all in all, she's going through a hell of a lot and could quite clearly do with some support. We're also told more about Frank's wife Sheila who passed away, and the memories Frank thinks about are incredibly touching, also emphasising how alone he really is. I found it difficult not to find Frank endearing, despite his outspoken thoughts. It moved me to think of the time before Frank became alone, when he was surrounded by his family and had a companion in his wife. I was thrilled when the thought of going to Los Angeles hit Frank, and cheered him on towards making his final decision in doing so. Beth needed him, his granddaughter Laura had a plan, and I didn't want Frank to be alone any longer. 

I absolutely loved Frank's time spent in Los Angeles. It added such a fantastically upbeat and exciting tone to the book, and I adored how much he wanted to stay when it came to flying back home. It was a completely different world in Frank's eyes, and his opinions on everything that he saw had me giggling constantly. Frank's dress sense and long, white hair only added to my love for him, and I wanted desperately for him to experience everything that he possibly could, all with his family beside him. It wasn't only an adventure for Frank, it was an adventure for me to, and one of my favourites, come to think of it.

 All in all, Frank's Holiday of a Lifetime was fantastic! Full of new and exciting places for Frank to visit, and moments that had my eyes brimming with tears, this was a true delight to lose myself within. Keep an eye out for the woman who works in the charity shop, by the way, with the south-west eyes! 

Becca's Books is awarding Frank Derrick's Holiday of a Lifetime with FIVE OF MY SCRUMMY CUPCAKES! I really cannot tell you how good it felt to be reunited with one of my favourite characters, and to jet off to Los Angeles with him as my companion, and Bill the passive-faced cat, of course!


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