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A Keeper

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  16,376 ratings  ·  1,445 reviews
When Elizabeth Keane returns to Ireland after her mother’s death, she’s focused only on saying goodbye to that dark and dismal part of her life. Her childhood home is packed solid with useless junk, her mother’s presence already fading. But within this mess, she discovers a small stash of letters—and ultimately, the truth.

Forty years earlier, a young woman stumbles from a
Paperback, 326 pages
Published October 4th 2018 by Hodder & Stoughton
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Barbara Elizabeth was not homophobic so much as upset by her husband's betrayal, so the gay nurse didn't really bother her. I am sure she would have found the…moreElizabeth was not homophobic so much as upset by her husband's betrayal, so the gay nurse didn't really bother her. I am sure she would have found the thought of her husband having sex with another woman disgusting as well. As to the house sign, he could have assumed the sign would be taken down if it had been sold. I did not even notice either thing, so you are a very observant reader.(less)

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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  16,376 ratings  ·  1,445 reviews

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Once again Graham Norton surprises me with his writing abilities in this well drawn story of small town Irish life and remote rural farming families. When it comes to relationships, there is not much in the way of cheering fare, with disappointment, intrigue, darkness, and stoicism from two different eras. Divorced New Yorker Elizabeth Keane returns home to Ireland and Buncarragh with the death of her mother, Patricia, to put her affairs in order. She is less than keen on her remaining family, r ...more
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I never watch talk shows, however I know who Mr Norton is, and I admit I was intrigued by the fact that he has accomplished two novels, both receiving many positive reviews. I borrowed THE KEEPER from Overdrive, and .... yes, I enjoyed it a lot.
The story of a daughter returning to Ireland and discovering her identity is moving, but even more so is the story of her mother, who, now dead, brought up Elizabeth on her own in the society where single mothers were not accepted with open hands. Patric
Louise Wilson
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elizabeth Keane returns to the island after her mother's death, Intent on wrapping up that dismal part of her life. There is nothing for her here; she wonders if there ever was.

Set in the present time and forty years ago. Elizabeth was living in New York when she learns of her mother's death. She returns to Ireland to settle her mother's affairs. When she gets there, the house is run down, has hardly any contents and its full of rats. She just wants tomsell the house and get back to New York and
Éimhear (A Little Haze)
Now published!

With his second novel, 'A Keeper', BBC TV presenter and comedian Graham Norton really proves what a great storyteller he is. I remember when I read his debut novel 'Holding' that I loved aspects of his writing but I came away from that book feeling that the atmosphere and narrative motifs used were a little lacklustre. Yet I believed he had the potential for so much more with his writing...
With this book he delivers on all that and more, and engages the reader in a wonder
Andy Marr
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
It's terribly unfair. While it took Margaret Mitchell 10 years to compose 'Gone With the End', and 12 years for Victor Hugo to finish 'Les Miserables', Graham Norton appears to have thrown this together over the course of a rainy Saturday afternoon and published it the following Monday without any further thought or attention.

Truly, I cannot overstate how frustrating I found this book. The plot was lazy and repetitive, the writing poor, and the dialogue dreadful. I'd have given up after the thi
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature-2019
Elizabeth Keane returns to her homeland ireland to get her mothers affairs in order after her death, returning to the home she was brought up in was one she would rather forget. Patricia ( Liz) mother was a very demanding woman that would have nothing to do with family whatsoever, its not until Elizabeth finds letters from 40 years earlier she decides to read them what she finds is that there are a lot of questions unanswered & she is determined to find the truth.

There is a lot of heartache, los
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
Norton’s 2016 debut novel, Holding, was surprisingly good. Unfortunately, this second offering is not nearly as strong. His characters have a cardboard quality and he has jammed the plot with events that never quite come together in a believable way. There are plenty of plot-twists that should have resonated with emotion. Instead, they just seem overly melodramatic.
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Secrets die kept to the last breath.

Elizabeth Keane travels with a heavy heart from New York to Buncarragh just north of Kilkenny. Her mother passed away and it is now up to Elizabeth to sort through her things and close up the house. She's a recently divorced mother of seventeen year old Zach. Zach will be spending time with his father in San Francisco during her absence.

Living in America has left a void in Elizabeth as she tries to interact with her extended Irish family. She comes across som
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5 bright stars from me! I love Graham Norton's writing and I would have read it in one sitting if I could, but I needed some sleep in between. I wasn't bored for one minute, I thought the story unfolded very well , with new snippets of information added all the time. And I loved spending some time in Ireland, because that is how it felt. I hope GN is well on his way with his next book!

"Waterford crystal, so special that it wasn't used even for special occasions."
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the 2nd novel I have read by Graham Norton and once again I am so impressed with his writing. Don't be put off by his stage persona and read this book as you would any other author. This is a fabulous little book and I read it from start to finish in one sitting wanting to know more.

The story follows Elizabeth Keane, who returns to Ireland after her mother's death, to tie up loose ends on a not very happy time in her life. She has very little there, unpleasant memories, items of small va
Oct 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well this book was a surprise read. Recommended to me by my son. I had seen a few of his shows - but not to my taste.
The writing is superb. Even poetic in parts. The main characters' interior monologue was outstanding. Norton really captured the essence of the person.
Jul 02, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
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
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I had never heard of this book or the author and did not know what to expect.It is a mesmerizing read and so unexpected ,had no idea what would happen and it was all alarming and upsetting and yet i could not put it down. I cannot say much here it would ruin the story ,very sad thread in it and a desperate act that tore lives apart.who knows what drives people to try to set things right ,and instead making it a kidnapping this....
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
This was a very readable and entertaining book. Elizabeth Keane returns to her small town in Ireland after her mother passes away. As she is sorting through the effects of a lifetime, she discovers a box of letters that reveal her mother as Elizabeth never imagined. It leads her to discover her past that she never knew existed.

Meanwhile her 17 year old son back in NYC makes long lasting decisions that impact both his and Elizabeth's lives. Of course, she is not there for guidance so she turns
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
An intelligent, well paced mystery that I gulped down in three rainy days. Alternating masterfully between “Now” and “Then,” from Convent Hill in the town of Buncarragh just outside Kilkenny, Ireland to the remote Castle House by the sea near West Cork, Graham Norton spins the tale of Patricia Keane and her daughter Elizabeth.

“Now”: Only child Elizabeth Keane, a 44-year-old college instructor, divorcée and mother to 17-year-old Zach, living in a tiny apartment in Manhattan, travels to Ireland t
Oct 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
2.5* rounded up. I've not yet read Norton's first novel but it got good reviews, so when I was given the chance to read this as an ARC, I went for it. And now I'm not really sure if I'm going to read the first one...

The writing is fine. Not brilliant, but fine. It's a bit in-the-style-of-Maeve-Binchy, which is, again, fine. Binchy entertained many people, including me. But I was hoping for something a bit more...edgy? challenging?...from Norton, and I didn't get it. It's a hard book to genre-ify
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this family drama with a mystery.

What I love about Graham's writing is his understanding of people and how he brings them to life.

This book is nothing like his first book ( Holding by Graham Norton ) which I also loved but it has some similar themes; small town Ireland, dark humour, real life.

The story manages to be shocking but in an every-day you're listening to gossip in the local pub. I'm not sure I'm explaining this very well...if you like real life drama with a hint of dark hum
Thomas Strömquist
Absolutely delightful - the kind of book you should always reach for if you're in a slump. Well-written, a good, just right amount of bewildering storyline and good characters.

The blurb isn't great, but there are plenty of reviews if you need more information. I'll just say that we are treated to a dual timeline story about Elizabeth in present time, returning to her native Ireland and by chance, rather than intention, begins to unravel her mother's (Patricia) story and how she herself came to b
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very moving profound story! Cleverly told from "then" and "now" whereas these two perspectives meet at the end of the chapters. Beautiful writing again! ...more
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Last but not least read of the 2018!!..
4.5 stars round up to 5, because of the wonderful atmosphere that Graham Norton created in this book.
I got this book as a gift from my Secret Santa in one of my GR groups. Thank you!
What a wonderful journey Graham Norton takes a reader on! In its simple, straightforward ways he delivers an array of emotions.

Elizabeth returns to Ireland to sort out some family affairs after her mother's death, leaving behind her teenage son and an ex husband. What was suppos
Rachel Hall
Sep 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Graham Norton’s follow-up to his hugely impressive debut novel, Holding, is a bleak family drama set across a parallel narrative forty years apart. Compelling, well-written with a great eye for human foibles it is undoubtedly highly readable but for me lacked substance and there isn’t much more to the novel than what becomes pretty obvious early on. Yet despite knowing what was in store and the unfolding details of past narrative becoming bizarrely far-fetched I never once wanted to put the book ...more
Mar 31, 2019 rated it liked it
A 3.5 star read. Goodreads still doesn't accommodate half star ratings!! Come on guys!

After loving Holding, Norton's previous book, I was really excited by this read. Elizabeth has returned from New York to small town Ireland to deal with her mother's estate after her passing. It's been a long time since Elizabeth has been in the town that that she grew up in and being back fills her with a mixture of emotions. In clearing out her mother's wardrobe Elizabeth comes across a wooden box containing
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Elizabeth's mother has passed away. She comes back from New York to her tiny hometown of Buncarragh to sort through her mother's house. In doing so she finds some letters, written from her father to her mother right at the start of their relationship. She had never known her father; he had died when she was very young. She decides that she wants to find out more about him. But nobody seems to know anything about Edward Foley, and the deeper she digs she discovers that she knows nothing about whe ...more
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: i-heart-brit-lit
Elizabeth comes back to Ireland from America to settle her mother's estate. She's divorced with a teen aged son and never knew who her father was. The morning after arriving at her mother's home, she discovers letters from an Edward Foley hidden in the armoire; could this be her father? This is where the story begins shifting back and forth between present day and the early 1970s, before Elizabeth was born.

This is also where the story starts to lose track. Overall, I liked the story and the plo
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this.
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was pleasantly surprised with this book, i found it incredibly gripping.
This is a huge step up from the last fictional book he wrote . A very enjoyable read.
Alice Lippart
Very entertaining.
Josephine (Jo)
What a pleasure to read this book by Graham Norton! I had my doubts as to whether this was a case of a celebrity deciding to have a go at writing because he had a ready-made audience with his fan base. I could not have been more wrong there is so much talent and warmth in his writing, I hope that he keeps the books coming thick and fast!
Elizabeth Keane comes home to Ireland to sort out her late mother's affairs and to decide what to do with the old family house which she had shared with her moth
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Graham William Walker is an Irish actor, comedian, television presenter and columnist, known by his stage name Graham Norton. He is the host of the comedy chat show The Graham Norton Show and the BBC commentator of the Eurovision Song Contest.

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