By Sally Vickers
Whilst my primary book review blog was moved some time ago to Entertaining Angels Bookshelf, I have a particular reason for reviewing Mr Golightly’s holiday here first. I do not intend giving the reason. It will become apparent to a reader of the book.
I have previously reviewed by the same author Miss Garnet’s Angel, which I enjoyed immensely so I had high hopes for Mr Golightly’s Holiday.
The curious, I might even say slightly mysterious, character of Mr Golightly arrives in the quiet village of Great Calne, driving a battered and unreliable Morris Traveller, looking for time, inspiration and peace to revise his book. It had been published many years ago and was a bestseller but sales had been dropping. Mr Golightly is intent on re-writing his classic volume, in a contemporary style.
Soon after his arrival in Great Calne, with his laptop computer with which he has uneasy alliance, Mr Golightly becomes considerably more involved in the affairs of the village than he had intended. His involvement in the village’s life, of course, hampers his writing no end, scarcely finding time to write, even having taken on young Johny Spence, a clever but mischievous lad frequently truanting from school, as a kind of research assistant.
Although Mr Golightly has an office and staff when he’s not on holiday, he seemes to have lived a fairly reclusive existence away from much human contact. Great Calne with its quirky and eccentric population overturns many of Mr Golightly’s pre-conceived notions about people in unexpected ways.
Although we are never told who Mr Golightly is beyond his name, clues are scattered throughout the story. Most readers will have deduced his identity by the last few chapters, probably much sooner.
Sally Vickers has a gentle, easy going way of storytelling. She seems to have an acute ability to observe people and from that observation, construct interesting and surprising characters.
I enjoyed Mr Golightly’s Holiday immensly, though if I had to choose between it and Miss Garnet’s Angel, I would choose the latter.
Mr Golightly “understood, perhaps better than most,
that all important questions are unanswerable.”