Review: Home Stretch by Graham Norton

Title: Home Stretch

Author: Graham Norton

Published: 29th September 2020, Coronet

Status: Read October 2020 courtesy Hachette Australia

++++++

My Thoughts:

Home Stretch is a compelling and poignant novel from Graham Norton.

When a tragic single car accident takes the life of three young adults in the small Irish village, the lives of the three survivors, and their family’s, are forever changed.

“None of us are just the worst thing we ever did.”

With sensitivity and compassion, Norton explores the themes of loss, stigma, longing, betrayal, and self discovery as his characters lives unfold. The narrative is shared by several characters but the focus is on Connor, the admitted driver. Crushed by the community’s grief and anger, and his own shameful secrets, Connor leaves home for a fresh start. Cutting himself off from his family, Connor’s journey takes him to England and then America, but he remains haunted by the tragedy.

“This is what homecoming meant. Arriving in a place to discover you’re fluent in a language you’d forgotten you ever knew.”

The plot is multilayered and thoughtful, shifting between past and present, it begins in 1987 and ends in the present. It’s decades before Connor finds the emotional strength to confront the past, spurred on by a chance meeting with a nephew he never even knew he had. As he reconnects with all that he left behind, assumptions are challenged and secrets are outed.

Not at all what I expected from what I know of Norton’s public persona, with its profound themes, authentic characters, and engaging prose, Home Stretch is an absorbing and beautifully nuanced story.

++++++

Available from Hachette Australia

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I HiveUK

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kathryn
    Oct 15, 2020 @ 16:49:40

    I head his being interviewed and it whet my interest then, your review is underlining it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Theresa Smith Writes
    Oct 15, 2020 @ 19:27:30

    I was surprised too – in the best of ways! He’s on my must read list now for anything he releases.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Marg
    Oct 16, 2020 @ 20:22:20

    I am curious about his book. Going to have to get this one I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. Susan
    Oct 17, 2020 @ 07:46:47

    I liked Norton’s prior books so I’m glad you reviewed this one … I tried to find out if it’s available here … but it looks like we can’t get a copy yet … hmm. Maybe printing delayed?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out
  6. Heather @ Random Redheaded Ramblings
    Oct 20, 2020 @ 07:00:16

    I never thought a book with that description would come from Graham, he is a talented man.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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