A Keeper by Graham Norton

First lines 2. Publisher: Hachette
An original storyline, with some surprises, told well.

Elizabeth Keane, living in New York, returns to the small fictional town of Buncarragh, Ireland to clear up the affairs of her mother who has died. She finds many unanswered questions in a bundle of letters, and sets out to find out about her mother’s past.

“Nobody, certainly not her own mother, had ever sat her down and told her the story of her father in detail, but over the years she had gleaned the main thrust of the tale.”

“Dear Lonely Leinster Lady, I’m not really sure how to begin. I have never replied to one of these ads before. I suppose I should just tell you a bit about myself and you can see if you like the sound of me!”


  • The Guardian: With Norton’s wry sense of humour throughout, A Keeper is a gripping, thoughtful tale about the search for identity, belonging and self-possession.”
  • The Irish Times: “There are traces here of the book this might have been. Norton has a keen eye for the quirks and textures of small Irish towns, and might have made a go of the dark and ribald comedy that seems at times to be straining to get out. But as A Keeper lurches to its sombre and oddly stagy finale, we are preoccupied not with what might have been but with what he could possibly have been thinking.”
Other editions.

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