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Keeper and Kid: A Novel
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Keeper and Kid: A Novel

3.26  ·  Rating Details ·  314 Ratings  ·  71 Reviews
"A fine, fetching novel with a good heart . . . a tribute to the author's endless comic inventiveness." —Stewart O'Nan, author of Songs for the Missing

Three years after his divorce, James Keeper is enjoying his new job selling antiques at a quirky shop. His new love, Leah, is intriguing and passionate. Business is steady and Keeper's friends always turn up for Card Night.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 4th 2009 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published January 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Oct 11, 2010 Jeanna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
I hated this book and only forced myself to finish it because I kept hoping it would get better. I hated the characters, and the dialogue was choppy and annoying.
Sep 02, 2008 Christa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Keeper and Kid was a very touching novel of a divorced man whose life is turned completely upside down when he gains custody of a son that he didn't even know about. James Keeper was a sympathetic and believeable character. He seems very human as he flounders about, making mistakes. Keeper finally learns to communicate with and accept help from those who care about him.

James Keeper is a thirty-six year old divorced man who is involved in a serious relationship with Leah. The two just bought a ho
Sep 01, 2008 Christie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, x2008
Soon to be made into an After Work Special for Gen Xers very soon.

In the 2nd half of this book I could see that this author has some talent, however the first 50 pages of the book are AWFUL. He is trying to narrate the book from the POV of an immature 30 something (who we can already guess is going to mature because the writing is so forced). The entire book would have been better written in 3rd person. The only reason this book was a disappointment instead of just a bad book, was that I really
Michelle Robinson
Jan 12, 2013 Michelle Robinson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was very interested in reading this book.
What a great idea for a novel, I thought.

The Keeper has a son that he was completely unaware of, he finds out after the sudden death of his ex-wife.
I was interested in the premise of this book that I made a special trip to my library topick it up.

I understood and sympathized with Keeper's feelings of being overwhelmed and broadsided but I have to say that after a while I was a lillte impatient. He almost completely fell apart when he found himself wit
Apr 04, 2008 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This pulled me right in—highly readable story. It's perfect for when you've just finished up a very emotionally draining book and want something a little lighter and faster. I'd categorize it as chick lit, except that the main character and author are both male : ) My only complaint is that I was weirdly and irrationally annoyed by the attention to detail in naming all the children's TV that Leo watched, which seemed to be an inordinate amount of TV. It was very exact, as if the author was refer ...more
It fit into a little niche of stories that I enjoy. Things where the story where a child or pets play an important role in the lives of people they are around. In this case, I found the story to be quite sweet and I adored all the little frustrations and silliness involved in dealing with something you just aren't quite sure about but are attached to anyway.
I liked this book. But there were some disconnects. I never really liked the characters. There was not enough there for me to establish an emotional connection to any of them. It seemed like the author spent alot of time on scene development. But not as much on the character themselves.
Feb 18, 2009 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I do not like Leah at all and Keeper at 36 really needs to get a grip and grow up, but the book is a easy read and rather interesting thus far.
Julie Lindsey
A little on the predictable side. There were some funny moments; however, the main character was pretty shallow and not much depth to the story line.
Mar 31, 2008 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this. The challenges of the kid rang true for me. I liked Keeper's friends. With the Love and Death store backdrop the scenery was interesting. I did wish I knew Cynthia better...
Jul 16, 2008 Andi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't finish! Not bad writing, it just wasn't my bag.
Rebecca Miller
Aug 11, 2015 Rebecca Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
it was simple and it really drew me in
Apr 27, 2010 liz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
When Jim Keeper receives a call out of the blue from his ex-wife Cynthia’s mother, the last thing he expects to hear is that she is in the hospital. Jim drops everything to drive up to Boston to find out what the favor he has been told she needs to ask him is. A week later, when going to pick up what used to be their dog Arrow, Jim is faced with a huge problem that he was not expecting.

It’s been four years since He and Cynthia divorced, a little over three years since he had seen her last. His l
Dec 13, 2008 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Christina by: Lisa {Books on the Brain}
I walked away for this novel with mixed emotions. It’s a great story, none the less. But what was up with Grace? Why didn’t Keeper just say “forget you,” or a version of that, to Leah? Does Leo ever call Keeper “Daddy”?


As I said, none the less, this is a great book. It’s heart wrenching and funny at the same time. This coming-of-age, “hero’s journey” story was enjoyable, not like some I’ve read in the past. In fact, I finished it in one afternoon, it was that good. And I certainly plan to r
Robin Nicholas
"Keeper" is a 30 something guy, job rather than a career, girlfriend, cool friends, happy with life. He is given 2 days notice that he has a son that he now needs to raise. The three year old is a result of a one night fling with his ex-wife. That ex-wife has died suddenly and put Keeper in the will as the one to raise Leo. As a parent, this is my nightmare. There is no way, a guy who has no preparation or interest in having children could have ANY idea what taking care of and raising a three ye ...more
melanie (lit*chick)
This book was an absolute delight. Set in New England, it is the story of James Keeper, a guy who works surrounded by rescued materials in a shop/salvage yard.
"I love the yard. It's an entire world of saved parts and second chances." p.52
That sentence is a window to the rest of the story. When his ex-wife suddenly dies, Keeper thinks he is going to pick up their dog, but finds out they have a 3 1/2 year old son. Watching Keeper and Leo navigate through their immediate future is funny and sad an
Sandy D.
Apr 01, 2010 Sandy D. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A novel that I grabbed off the new book shelf at my library. The story was pretty improbable - a middle-aged guy learns he is the father of a 3 y.o. when his ex-wife dies suddenly; she had been meaning to tell him about their son, but never did get around to it, and Keeper (the guy's last name) is the kid's new caretaker - with virtually no help or contact with ex-wife's family.

Anyway, the book did have some pretty wonderful descriptions of the ways of toddlers, and how difficult it can be for a
Mar 04, 2008 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
I really enjoyed this book. While it has shades of Nick Hornby's "About a Boy", "Keeper and Kid" is more of a grudging love story. James Keeper is a man not ready for children when one child is thrust upon him. Edward Hardy writes compassionately of Keepers mixed feelings and complex reactions to his new position as a father. The ending feels just a little pat to me but then I really didn't like the girlfriend from the outset so...maybe it's just me!
Hardy's dialogue is wonderful--he even manages
Dec 21, 2015 Dana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book started out promising, then started to drag about midway through. I didn't fully know what it was about: a breakup, a kid losing his mother, an adult coming of age tale? It was an amalgamation of a bunch of themes that should have just stuck with one theme and developed it well in the entire book. Plus, I did not like the author's way of writing in a three year old's style. It sounded like the three year old has some form of deficiency in one area or another, which is fine, but not ack ...more
Sep 21, 2009 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 18, 2008 Nette rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a coworker who passes out a 6-page, single-spaced family newsletter every Christmas, detailing each moment of his family's life during the last year. The entire first page is taken up with the wacky mispronunciations of his three sons, like: "Toot Berry = Tooth Fairy." (The youngest is now 9, so something is deeply wrong with these children.) Anyway, I'm convinced the author of this book wrote down every cute thing his own kids said, and then built a book around them. It's a quick, easy r ...more
Miko Lee
Aug 01, 2012 Miko Lee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Quick read of lost man who co runs an antique store with his high school buddy. In a pretty solid 2yr relationship with an architect. Suddenly his ex wife dies and leaves him with a 2 year old toddler he never knew he had. book chronicles his journey toward becoming a father and growing up enough so he can become responsible. Fairly predictable. With a couple of nice quirky touches, the group of friends like to watch old salvaged slides of a family whom they make up stories about. Could have tak ...more
Mar 24, 2008 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although it wasn't a book that 'moved' me (which is what I reserve my five star ratings for) it was a very cute story and a quick, easy read. I found the characters (and writing) to be very comforting. And as a mother to two three year olds myself found the thoughts/struggles the main character went through as a parent to be so relatable to my everyday life - and found humor in those things because of it.
May 28, 2012 Jaxmarie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Had a hard time finishing this book, though the premise was good. I felt Keeper was selfish, shallow, and stupid. I didn't buy his "I have a hard time asking for help" line. Really felt like you'd have to have lived under a rock to not reach out for help with a kid whose whole world has turned upside down - especially when every other page the character bemoaned how unfit he was to handle the situation. I had hoped for much more from this book.
Rita Mahan
James Keeper finds himself the sole guardian of a son he never knew existed until the death of an ex-wife. Turmoil ensues as he tries to find his way to knowing how to deal with a 3 year old he never imagined existed. Live-in girlfriend leaves as she never wanted to be a Mom let alone to a child of an ex, too proud to asks for help, Keeper finds himself in deep trouble but learns a lot about himself and life in the process.
Venessa (PebbleCafe)
Jul 15, 2008 Venessa (PebbleCafe) rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: probably won't recommend it
More than halfway through review.

Since I have already invested so much time reading, I might as well finish. That is basically how I feel about this book. For the most part the characters are unlikable, except Tim and Julie (Keeper's friends).

So far not liking it. Update review when I'm done.


Finally finished. Didn't care for it. To many disconnection with the characters. I have a lot to say don't know where to start.
Jan 18, 2009 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2009
I really enjoyed this book. Jumping into parenthood with a toddler myself (or actually two :), this book really resonated with me...from the shock of the massive life change to the zillion quirky little things that wee ones the grand realizations about was fabulous! I wasn't too fond throughout the story of the girlfriend, Leah, but by the end I was warming up to her a bit. A book I would definitely recommend. I give this book 4-1/2 stars!
Mar 24, 2008 Krysia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lad-lit
With all the chick lit out there, it's nice to come across a book from the "lad lit" genre. Readers who enjoy Nick Hornby will like this book; however, I didn't feel as much sympathy for this main character, nor did I particulary care for his girlfriend Leah, although they did seem true to life. It also seemed as if the author wrote down cute phrases said by his children or nephews and formulated parts of chapters around them.
This book started out great, but quickly lost steam for me. I didn't find the plot quite intriguing enough. Thankfully, every now and then something would happen that would keep my attention to continue on, but I wasn't very attached to the characters and didn't find myself emotionally involved. Still not a bad story line and I finished it in a few days.
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Edward Hardy is the author of two novels, Keeper and Kid and Geyser Life. His short stories have appeared in many magazines including: Ploughshares, GQ, Epoch, The New England Review, Boulevard and The Quarterly. He has been a newspaper reporter and editor and has taught creative writing at Cornell and Boston College He currently teaches nonfiction writing at Brown and lives outside Providence wit ...more
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