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Forever Home by Graham Norton - Review

Thursday, December 8, 2022

You know that I like Graham Norton's books - I've read all his previous ones, which you can find reviews for here - so I keep an eye on new books by him. I saw this one was coming out so I requested it from the library. I am so thankful for my library and the easy system and the friendly librarians! I am trying to not buy as many books so using the library is perfect for me. 

So in this book Carol is a fifty something year old teacher. She has one son, an adult, who lives in London I think? She herself lives in a small town in Cork. She is divorced and for the past ten years or so she's been in a relationship with Declan. He's quite a bit older than her and has two children, Killian and Sally. Carol started off as Sally's tutor, which is how she met Declan. His wife disappeared several years before Declan and Carol got together. No one quite sees what Carol saw in Declan, but they have had quite a happy relationship.

But Declan has developed dementia, and over a few years it has become clear that Carol can no longer look after him in their home. Carol loves the house - three storeys, with worn oak floors - and knows that Declan didn't want it ever to be sold. But when Declan goes into a home, Killian and Sally reveal that they own the home, under a power of attorney made by a friend of Carol's who's a lawyer. They have always disapproved of Carol's relationship with their father, but she is shocked. She then has to move back in with her aging parents. Her father is the owner of a chain of coffee shops, meaning the family has a lot of money. So when Killian and Sally put Declan's house up for sale, Carol's dad sets out to buy it for her. Her mum is deeply suspicious of the family as a whole and of Declan's ex wife also, so when Carol gets the house she joins Carol in starting to sort it out. 

Meanwhile Killian and his husband Colin have a comfortable but dull life. Killian is quite a terrible person so I felt like he got everything he deserved, but he's such a snot about everything. They are expecting a baby but Killian's heart isn't in it. 

Sally is thirty-something and lives a somewhat dull life. But with the sale of the house, opportunities are opening up to her as she now has money. She isn't sure what she wants to do, but she knows working as a canteen cook isn't it. I felt sorry for Sally - she has been a bit forgotten by everyone in her life. I also really liked Carol - she seemed very resilient. I don't think we got to know Declan very well, but that might have been intentional thanks to his illness. 

I liked the book and think Graham is really good at spinning a whole yarn. However, this didn't hit as well as some of his other books for me. I can't fully explain why. But I'm giving it four out of five anyway! 

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