'Graham Norton's new novel has me in floods... His gift for characterisation is positively Binchy-esque! Such nuance and warmth! It's GORGEOUS' MARIAN KEYES
'Beautifully written. Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy read. Utterly fantastic.' LIZ NUGENT
'Full of heart and humanity and I loved every single page. What a storyteller!' ELIZABETH DAY
'Graham Norton's examination of small-town Irish lives continues in his deeply moving third novel. He is a magnificent writer.' JOHN BOYNE
'[Graham Norton is a] king of the page turners... A total triumph' ANNE GRIFFIN
Shame and longing can flow through generations, but the secrets of the heart will not be buried for ever.
It is 1987 and a small Irish community is preparing for a wedding. The day before the ceremony a group of young friends, including bride and groom, drive out to the beach. There is an accident. Three survive, but three are killed.
The lives of the families are shattered and the rifts between them are felt throughout the small town. Connor is one of the survivors. But staying among the angry and the mourning is almost as hard as living with the shame of having been the driver. He leaves the only place he knows for another life, taking his secrets with him. Travelling first to Liverpool, then London, he makes a home - of sorts - for himself in New York. The city provides shelter and possibility for the displaced, somewhere Connor can forget his past and forge a new life.
But the secrets, the unspoken longings and regrets that have come to haunt those left behind will not be silenced. And before long, Connor will have to confront his past.
Graham Norton's powerful and timely novel of emigration and return demonstrates his keen understanding of the power of stigma and secrecy - with devastating results.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
A national treasure as a broadcaster, Graham Norton set himself on a path towards also becoming one of Britain and Ireland’s favourite authors with his first two novels Holding and A Keeper. This third maintains that trajectory via the engrossing story of lives transforming in the wake of a car crash that has devastating consequences for a small Irish town. Spanning decades and continents, Home Stretch explores guilt, shame, prejudice and identity, and how a person’s past can change as much as their future when, in a jaw-dropping twist, long-buried secrets surface. Zooming in on the lives of Connor and Ellen, siblings forced apart by the tragedy, Norton crafts two authentic, nuanced characters whose sadnesses and joys will tug at your heart throughout.
Fastest book I’ve ever read!
Not usually a huge reader but decided to give this a go on my recent holiday. Got through it in a week which is unheard of for me!! Really great story with characters you can really believe. Well done Graham, I’ll definitely be going back to read your other books now.
I know it’s a cliche... but it really was a page turner.