Catherine O’Flynn’s has painted a tender portrait of a generous Irish emigrant balancing the books of his lifeCatherine O’Flynn, it seems fair to say, likes architecture. Her Costa-winning first novel centred on a decaying 70s shopping centre with a body hidden in its foundations; her second pursued a city architect. Her third focuses on a Spanish holiday village, Lomaverde, built with optimism, concrete and an infinity pool just before the 2008 financial crunch.It’s a brilliant choice of symbol for the absurdities of the credit boom, and brilliantly rendered too. O’Flynn uses the full length of the book to show us the slow build-up of “cracks in pavements and fault lines along the road”, the emptying of the swimming pool, the desertion of the developers, realtors and buyers, and, in careful parallel, the steadily accreting costs of the whole ludicrous structure to the local landscape and community. She even includes another body under the patio, and this time the possibility of a mass grave of civil war victims.Inside the village, a handful of disgruntled expats find themselves endlessly in one another’s company, holding barbecues and fruitless meetings and squabbling over the right approach to the underpaid caretaker and the feral cats. …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books