"Home Stretch” by Graham Norton is the July selection for the IrishCentral Book Club.

Each month, we will pick a new Irish book or a great book by an Irish author and celebrate the amazing ability of the Irish to tell a good story for the IrishCentral Book Club.

Throughout July, we’ll be reading “Home Stretch" by Graham Norton, the Sunday Times bestseller that was named the National Book Tokens Popular Fiction Book of the Year 2020 at the An Post Irish Book Awards.

First published in October 2020 by Hodder & Stoughton, "Home Stretch" is available in paperback, hardcover, ebook, and audio. 

North American readers/listeners my latest novel Homestretch is available now!! pic.twitter.com/IsEZa687ZZ

— graham norton (@grahnort) June 24, 2021

Synopsis of “Home Stretch” by Graham Norton

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.

(Synopsis provided by Hodder & Staughton)

Reviews for “Home Stretch” by Graham Norton

"A love letter from Graham Norton to his homeland." - Irish Independent

"He is a deftly skilled writer who has honed a prose style that suits his stories perfectly . . . traversing tragedy and humour with equal aplomb. . . . Home Stretch is a wonderful display." -Irish Times

"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

"I loved HOME STRETCH ... one of those books that stays with you so long after you've finished it" - Nigella Lawson

"Full of heart and humanity and I loved every single page. What a storyteller!" - Elizabeth Day

"Excellent...With surprising twists and touching moments, Norton explores the immense sense of loss that comes with being a survivor, and how nothing is ever truly forgotten for the families of those who died....Norton delicately covers themes of abandonment, death, and loss with sophistication and thoughtful empathy....This gripping and compassionate outing is Norton’s best yet." -  Publishers Weekly

About Graham Norton

Graham Norton, born in Clondalkin, a suburb of Dublin, is one of the UK’s most treasured comedians and presenters. 

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 nine BAFTAs for Best Entertainment Performance, and Best Entertainment Programme. He presents The Graham Norton Show on BBC1, a show on BBC Radio 2 every Saturday, and is a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. Norton won the Special Recognition Award at the National Television Awards in 2017.

(Bio provided by Hodder & Stoughton.)

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