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A Keeper (2018)

von Graham Norton

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MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
17716115,347 (3.71)6
*** SHORTLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS *** THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER 'A compelling and moving story, expertly told, that will draw you in and keep you in its grip until the last page.' DAILY EXPRESS 'Magnificent ... his writing is evocative and perfect. His grasp of human loneliness and longing is beautiful and comforting.' MARIAN KEYES 'Atmospheric, creepy and impossible to put down.' the TIMES 'I raved about Holding two years ago ... A Keeper is even better. A powerful, very sad story, beautiful writing, two time frames that are perfectly balanced. Outstanding. Will easily be one of my books of 2018.' JOHN BOYNE 'A gripping, thoughtful tale about the search for identity, belonging and self-possession.' OBSERVER 'Moving and darkly funny.' GOOD HOUSEKEEPING 'Smart, well-written and thoroughly entertaining.' IRISH INDEPENDENT 'It's a sad and lovely book, brimful of tenderness and compassion, where the revelations of the past upturn the perceptions of the present.' SUNDAY EXPRESS 'Charming and tender, a complete joy.' SUNDAY MIRROR 'Perfectly crafted, a beautiful, gripping account of Irish memory and deceit. A terrific achievement.' ANDREW O'HAGAN From the bestselling author of Holding comes a masterly tale of secrets and ill-fated loves set on the coast of Ireland. Dear Lonely Leinster Lady, I'm not really sure how to begin . . . The truth drifts out to sea, riding the waves out of sight. And then the tide turns. Elizabeth Keane returns to Ireland after her mother's death, intent only on wrapping up that dismal part of her life. There is nothing here for her; she wonders if there ever was. The house of her childhood is stuffed full of useless things, her mother's presence already fading. And perhaps, had she not found the small stash of letters, the truth would never have come to light. 40 years earlier, a young woman stumbles from a remote stone house, the night quiet but for the tireless wind that circles her as she hurries further into the darkness away from the cliffs and the sea. She has no sense of where she is going, only that she must keep on. This compelling new novel confirms Graham Norton's status as a fresh, literary voice, bringing his clear-eyed understanding of human nature and its darkest flaws. * * * Praise for Holding, winner of the Irish Book Awards' Book of the Year 2016 'Poised and perceptive' Sunday Times '... a deftly plotted story as moving as it is compelling' Sunday Mirror 'Deeply accomplished ... brilliantly observed' Good Housekeeping '... one of the more authentic debuts I've read in recent years ... in such an understated manner, eschewing linguistic eccentricity ... in favour of genuine characters and tender feeling ... this is a fine novel' John Boyne, Irish Times 'It is beautiful and yet devastatingly sad' Daily Express 'Strenuously charming ... surprisingly tender' Metro 'Heartwarming and observant' Stylist… (mehr)
Kürzlich hinzugefügt vonbookworm12, private Bibliothek, CarolBurrows, Arina40, BeeKyb, Vividrogers, SoniaDrabek, Brazen, suekinz

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Elizabeth Keane, a university professor in New York City, returns to Ireland, her native land, to take care of financial and practical matters after the death of her mother. In a box in a closet, hidden under a duvet, Elizabeth finds love letters written to her mother by a man named Edward Foley, of whom she has never heard. Raised by a single mother who kept mum about her male parent, Elizabeth realizes quickly that she has found her father, a farmer, who lives many hours' drive away.

And so the tale begins. It is a twisting, winding tale, little shocks and big surprises thrown in to an outwardly-seeming peaceful and rustic yarn. There is a side-story as well, of Elizabeth's 17-year old son and his missteps and secrets that lead to a whole new life opening up for Elizabeth.

I really enjoyed this book. In order to get it finished before bedtime, I skipped a hot dinner and opted for a sandwich; forwent a post-prandial walk in the bracing cold of a Canadian January, and put all thoughts aside of the thriller I'm watching on Netflix. It was well worth the little sacrifices. I liked Graham Norton's first novel, Holding, and A Keeper was even better. I hope he keeps writing; I'd love to read more of his novels. ( )
  ahef1963 | Jan 13, 2021 |
This book is so very different from “Holding”. I really enjoyed it. The dark aspects of the story and the fullness of the characters was excellent. The telling of the story from two different periods of time was done very well, and allowed us to be led to the conclusion at a good pace. ( )
  Vividrogers | Dec 20, 2020 |
Enjoyable read: likeable characters, good plot twists, nice Irish flavor. Liked the alternating chapters between "then" and "now." ( )
  elifra | Jul 29, 2020 |
I found the ending disappointing. I would have liked to see the mystery totally revealed. ( )
  Fliss88 | Jul 27, 2020 |
Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.

I tend to wait at least a day after finishing a book to post a review, but I am highly annoyed right now and just want to put this book behind me. I maybe at one point while reading this ARC said are you serious and then started muttering to myself about just DNFing it. I don't like to do that with NetGalley reads though, so I may have to rethink on that in the future. This book was all over the place. I thought I was sitting down to read a solid mystery about a woman returning (Elizabeth) to her hometown in Ireland and finding out about her mother's (Patricia) past. Instead we don't really find out about it, we hear bits and pieces via other inconsequential secondary characters. The author throwing Patrica's POV in did nothing to help things. The plot with Elizabeth's son came out of nowhere and just made zero sense. Maybe if Norton actually spent time building up any of these characters I would have cared more.

"A Keeper" follows Elizabeth Keane as she returns back home to settle her deceased mother's (Patricia) estate. Elizabeth hates being back in her hometown and feels like a failure. She's a single mother raising her 17 year old son and dealing with the fall out of her marriage still. While staying at her mother's home, Elizabeth is informed there's a codicil to her mother's will and also finds letters from her father that he wrote to her mother almost 40 years ago. From there we have Elizabeth traveling back to where her father lived and finding out about what led her mother to him all of those years ago.

So I was unsympathetic to Elizabeth during this entire book. She pretty much sucks from beginning to end. She didn't really stay in touch with her mother and even when she was dying didn't seem to see the need to be there. She acts put out by things and is reluctant to be away from her son. Most of the book is Elizabeth remembering how her mother raised her and either finding fault with it and or missing her at the same time. She goes on and on about her marriage and the her POV's were so scattered. I don't think Norton did a very good job developing Elizabeth. She was a chess piece to move around while he focused on what he wanted the story to be about, Patricia.

The second POV flashes back to Patricia when she was in her early 30s. After more than a decade taking care of her ill mother. Patricia is a bit lonely and when her friend pushes her to put an ad in a farmer's magazine she ends up starting correspondence with a man named Edward Foley. No spoilers, but things are not what they seem there.

So Norton goes back and forth between Elizabeth and Patricia. I pretty much guessed most of what is revealed. It wouldn't have been an issue if the plot had been put together very well. I just found myself bored from beginning to end of this book.

I can't say much about anyone else in this book because they are not developed well at all. We have Elizabeth's son Zach, her ex-husband, Patricia's ex friend Rosemary and Edward Foley. Don't even get me started on why we get a separate POV for Rosemary, it wasn't necessary and added nothing to the story.

The writing was not very good I found. I just think that there were too many things happening and that Norton didn't make sure that both POVs worked well. Maybe if there was no Patricia POV that would have helped flesh out Elizabeth's POV more. The book then could have been more reliant on the mystery aspect. I thought that whole thing fizzled out. Elizabeth finds out about things and just does nothing. I just had to shake my head on all of that effort to tell this story for no big pay off.

The flow was not great. The POVs between Patricia and Elizabeth and the mini POVs for Edward and Rosemary just didn't hang together well.

The book's setting is Ireland in the present and the 1970s. Maybe I have been reading too much Tana French and Maeve Binchy, but the book didn't feel "Irish" to me. Even Elizabeth didn't. Maybe because she had been away for so long, but there's no mention of her having an accent or how her relatives sound, etc. We get descriptions of the house and farm and that's it.

The ending was definitely a disappointment. I mean you can guess what was coming based on the context of everything you read before. The stuff with Zach should have been left on the cutting room floor. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
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AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Graham NortonHauptautoralle Ausgabenberechnet
Blum, WendyGestaltungCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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*** SHORTLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS *** THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER 'A compelling and moving story, expertly told, that will draw you in and keep you in its grip until the last page.' DAILY EXPRESS 'Magnificent ... his writing is evocative and perfect. His grasp of human loneliness and longing is beautiful and comforting.' MARIAN KEYES 'Atmospheric, creepy and impossible to put down.' the TIMES 'I raved about Holding two years ago ... A Keeper is even better. A powerful, very sad story, beautiful writing, two time frames that are perfectly balanced. Outstanding. Will easily be one of my books of 2018.' JOHN BOYNE 'A gripping, thoughtful tale about the search for identity, belonging and self-possession.' OBSERVER 'Moving and darkly funny.' GOOD HOUSEKEEPING 'Smart, well-written and thoroughly entertaining.' IRISH INDEPENDENT 'It's a sad and lovely book, brimful of tenderness and compassion, where the revelations of the past upturn the perceptions of the present.' SUNDAY EXPRESS 'Charming and tender, a complete joy.' SUNDAY MIRROR 'Perfectly crafted, a beautiful, gripping account of Irish memory and deceit. A terrific achievement.' ANDREW O'HAGAN From the bestselling author of Holding comes a masterly tale of secrets and ill-fated loves set on the coast of Ireland. Dear Lonely Leinster Lady, I'm not really sure how to begin . . . The truth drifts out to sea, riding the waves out of sight. And then the tide turns. Elizabeth Keane returns to Ireland after her mother's death, intent only on wrapping up that dismal part of her life. There is nothing here for her; she wonders if there ever was. The house of her childhood is stuffed full of useless things, her mother's presence already fading. And perhaps, had she not found the small stash of letters, the truth would never have come to light. 40 years earlier, a young woman stumbles from a remote stone house, the night quiet but for the tireless wind that circles her as she hurries further into the darkness away from the cliffs and the sea. She has no sense of where she is going, only that she must keep on. This compelling new novel confirms Graham Norton's status as a fresh, literary voice, bringing his clear-eyed understanding of human nature and its darkest flaws. * * * Praise for Holding, winner of the Irish Book Awards' Book of the Year 2016 'Poised and perceptive' Sunday Times '... a deftly plotted story as moving as it is compelling' Sunday Mirror 'Deeply accomplished ... brilliantly observed' Good Housekeeping '... one of the more authentic debuts I've read in recent years ... in such an understated manner, eschewing linguistic eccentricity ... in favour of genuine characters and tender feeling ... this is a fine novel' John Boyne, Irish Times 'It is beautiful and yet devastatingly sad' Daily Express 'Strenuously charming ... surprisingly tender' Metro 'Heartwarming and observant' Stylist

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