Blurb; Staying On is a geriatric coming-of-age story and a comedy-drama about an expat family played out between a working patriarch and his charming, self-possessed daughter-in-law. Tony Metcalfe, a seventy-year-old Yorkshireman and his wife Laney run Viva Espagne, a bar in a small village in the mountains beyond the Costa Blanca. Set amongst the bawdy working class expats of Spain – the por favors as the Spanish call them – the monoglot, post-war babies who retired early on good pensions, flocking to the dream of wine and rest and sun around the pool. But now their retirement paradise is shadowed by Brexit: the pound has fallen, pensions are frozen and the property crash happened long ago. Tony dreams of moving back to enjoy the remainder of his life in his childhood home, but Laney wants to stay in the happy valley and forget about England and the dark, unresolved feelings it provokes in their marriage. Tony loves his wife and keeps his dreams to himself along with the fact that Viva is losing money. He couldn’t go home even if he tried – nobody would buy an ailing bar in a recession. Tony’s only chance of getting home lies in puncturing the silence and blame in his marriage, and turning his bar to profit to sell. This looks impossible for passive, amiable Tony until his only son Nick arrives for an unexpectedly long stay, bringing his young wife Jo and son Fred in tow. Their arrival signals a new chapter in Tony’s life, but will it be one in which his dreams are finally realised?
My Review; Staying on is a wonderful, easy to read story. One that can be devoured within a day at only 233 pages long. You start to become familiar with the characters and town as if you were there yourself beside them.
Beautifully written, plenty of drama and family feuds. A story you can lose yourself in. A free vacation to spain. Didn’t really like Jo’s character a bit shifty, she had a plan. A dramatic ending which manages to turn out perfectly. A beautifully family with the secret and truth finally free.
Can the family rebuild their relationships? Can they get the restraunt back in business? Can they all get their happy endings? A brilliant read. Highly recommend. A well deserved four stars.