“Forever Home is both the funniest and the darkest story I’ve tackled so far, with a cast of characters all trying their best to cope with the extraordinary challenges life has confronted them with”
Graham Norton – Forever Home
[ About the Book ]
Carol is a divorced teacher living in a small town in Ireland, her only son now grown. A second chance at love brings her unexpected connection and belonging. The new relationship sparks local speculation: what does a woman like her see in a man like that? What happened to his wife who abandoned them all those years ago? But the gossip only serves to bring the couple closer.
When Declan becomes ill, things start to fall apart. His children are untrusting and cruel, and Carol is forced to leave their beloved home with its worn oak floors and elegant features and move back in with her parents.
Carol’s mother is determined to get to the bottom of things, she won’t see her daughter suffer in this way. It seems there are secrets in Declan’s past, strange rumours that were never confronted and suddenly the house they shared takes on a more sinister significance.
In his tense and darkly comic new novel Norton casts a light on the relationship between mothers and daughters, and truth and self-preservation with unnerving effect
[ My Review ]
Forever Home by Graham Norton published September 29th with Coronet and is described as ‘a darkly comic story, full of twists and turns and has that all important emotional clout that has become trademark in Graham’s novels.’ Yesterday morning I listened to Graham Norton chatting with Ian Dempsey on Today FM discussing Forever Home. During the interview Graham described parts of the book as a farce, which in all honesty it is, but in a way that one almost expects from a Graham Norton book. It was actually very refreshing to hear Graham speak of his own book in such terms as it’s authentic and sets the bar for any reader going in.
Forever Home is set in a small Irish town in Co. Cork where Carol is a divorcee, and a teacher, struggling with life. Now in her fifties, her only son lives in the UK and Carol is alone. Following her divorce she had met another man, a father of one of her pupils in school and a flame was sparked. Declan was much older than Carol and neither his children, her parents or her son was too enamoured with their relationship. Carol moved into Declan’s home and it soon became hers. Every nook and cranny, every creak and loose floorboard became part of her life. They had many happy years together until a decline in Declan’s health resulted in new living arrangements for both of them.
With Carol being forced out of the home she has loved, she is traumatised by the sudden turn in her circumstances. When no alternative option is available to her, Carol resorts to moving back home with her parents. Her mother, Moira, a very typical Irish mummy is convinced that all is not right in how Carol has been treated and, although quite an elderly woman, she sets off on a campaign to uncover the truth about Declan, his house and his family. What unravels is a series of events that can only be described as comical and very much far fetched but, it’s Graham Norton, so it is very easy to get caught up in the shenanigans and enjoy the ride.
Graham Norton writes wonderful dialogue with a fabulous turn-of-phrase that evokes very strong images of the characters involved. As Moira and Carol set about solving the mystery, their actions, at times, morph into a slapstick, light-hearted sitcom. It is very clear that Graham Norton had so much fun writing this book. Mixing comedy with mystery, imbued with a dark shadow and handling some very serious themes, Graham Norton has written another really enjoyable piece of fiction. Exploring the relationship between mothers and daughters, while also delving into that innate sense of preservation that is within us all, Graham Norton tackles serious themes intermingled with lighter comedic moments, providing just the right balance to entertain and captivate his readers. A charming and lively read!
[ Bio ]
Graham Norton is one of the UK’s most treasured comedians and presenters. Born in Clondalkin, a suburb of Dublin, Norton’s first big TV appearance was as Father Noel Furlong on Channel 4’s Father Ted in the early 1990s. He then secured a prime time slot on Channel 4 with his chat shows So Graham Norton and V Graham Norton.
Known for his quick wit Graham began hosting a variety of talent shows on BBC One from Strictly Dance Fever and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? to The Eurovision Song Contest and BAFTAs. Graham was soon approached by the BBC to front his own self-titled chat show The Graham Norton Show in 2007.
Graham Norton has won 9 BAFTAs for Best Entertainment Performance, and Best Entertainment Programme. He presents The Graham Norton Show on BBC1, a show on Virgin Radio every weekend, and is a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. Norton won the Special Recognition Award at the National Television Awards in 2017.
Twitter ~ @grahnort
I’ve read all his other books but not this one yet. I thought Home Stretch was brilliant, my favourite.
I agree Joanne. I found Home Stretch a v emotional read
I love Graham’s novels. Looking forward to reading this one.
It’s a great romp! Hope you enjoy Julia