A couple of years ago when Graham Norton published his first novel HoldingI rushed out to read it. Norton is one of my favourite broadcasters and never fails to make me laugh, but if I was expecting one of his famous opening monologues in book form, I was disappointed.
Norton managed to do what so few celebrities do, he created such a strong voice for his characters that it instantly took the celebrity shine off the book – to leave you in no doubt, that’s a good thing.
My verdict at the time – this man can write, but there was something missing. Something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. As debut novels went, it was a very solid start, but it was his next book I would be keenly watching.
That (difficult?) second novel came out a few months ago, and while I didn’t quite rush as quickly as I did the first time, I kept my eyes keenly on a copy, ready to insert into my reading schedule.
A Keeper is about Elizabeth Keane who travels from New York to her childhood home in Ireland in order to pack up her mother’s house after her death. While there she must face an estranged family and confront secrets her mother had kept hidden for years.
Once again Norton manages to avoid writing what most would expect of him (when are we going to get a super-camp love story?) – but hidden letters and family secrets are like catnip to me, so I thoroughly enjoyed this novel.
The pace has picked up since his first novel, but the writing is just as good, with a plot that just begs you to keep reading and do it quickly, please.
Loved this! When book three comes out, it will go straight to the top of my to-read list!
A Keeper is available now from Hodder & Stoughton