Home Stretch by Graham Norton

1. First lines: 2. Published 2020 Hachette 3. Street village Ireland [Public Domain] via Pixhere 4. Friends silhouette [Public Domain] Image by OpenClipart-Vectors via Pixabay
Plot:

Spanning the years between 1987 and the present day, this story starts with a car accident in the small fictional town of Mullinmore, County Cork. Six young people are involved, three of whom die, two survive, and one is seriously injured. The driver, Connor, leaves the town in shame and doesn’t contact his family for many years. He carries a secret about the accident, and tries to forget what really happened. However, there comes a time when he must return home, where he has to confront the people he knew from the time of the accident.

Quotes:

“Heading for the stairs she came across the dirty games kits from yesterday dumped in the hall. She retraced her steps to put those in the washing machine but found there was a load in it from yesterday that needed to go in the dryer but that was waiting to be unloaded as well. She remembered her coffee.”

“None of us are just the worst thing we ever did.”

My thoughts:

Recommended for it’s great storytelling, well-drawn characters, and the insightful study of sexual identity, and small-town attitudes. It’s a quiet, thoughtful story that develops slowly.

Book reviews:
  • Canberra Times: “It is the storytelling that is most striking. This is an old-fashioned page-turner, a set of events in a small country town and the way that they affect his characters in their future lives.”
  • Better Reading: “Thought-provoking, character-driven and so very compelling, Home Stretch establishes Norton’s reputation as a serious writer, and I cannot wait to see what he delivers next.”
Other edition:
Awards:

2020 Shortlist An Post Irish Book Awards – National Book Tokens Popular Fiction Book of the Year.


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