A keeper
Graham Norton
Hodder and Stoughton

My second graham Norton book in less than a year. What is the world coming to?

However norton the comedian or norton the chat show host isn’t quite the same as Norton the novelist. He writes with an eloquence that isn’t evident when he is dumping people off a red chair on his show.

The story revolves around village life in ireland. This time not fully set in his native Cork, however as the tale evolves cork is very much to the fore.

It is the story of Elizabeth Keane who was born out of wedlock in a time when very few in Irish villages were without both parents. When Elizabeths mother died “the dead don’t vanish, they leave a negative of themselves stamped on the world” she returns to the family home. And finds far more than she anticipated.

Village life is a world apart from those in big cities, each tree, each darkened corner all has a secret which can’t be kept quite as easy with the hustle and bustle of the city. The story of the Keanes evolves through the book with alternating chapters around past and present. It is a story that keeps evolving just like life itself. When you think it’s reached a conclusion some other manner of scandal or surprise gives it further air.

A book I wouldn’t normally read but also one I didn’t want to put down once I’d started. Norton had me relating to the characters and his language captured rural Irish life perfectly.

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