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Foster by Claire Keegan - Review

Saturday, March 16, 2024


I got this book for my birthday from Lee's brother and sister in law! As you may have seen, I've previously read two others of Claire Keegan's novellas and really enjoyed them. This one was on my wishlist which is where Lee's brother picked it from. It was a lovely present and I picked it up to take away with me on a work weekend where I knew I wouldn't have much time or energy for reading. It was perfect for that because it's so slight but still riveting. 

The protagonist of the story is never called by name, but she is a girl of maybe ten or eleven. She lives with her parents in Wexford, in a family with many siblings. Her mother is expecting again and, unable to cope, her parents have decided to send her 'down country' to some relatives of her mother's. She doesn't know them. They are the Kinsellas and they live on a small farm with a small bungalow. The girl is welcomed in, and given a little room of her own. There is no sign of a child but she is given a boy's clothes to wear and her room has train wallpaper. 

The girl flourishes under the care and attention of the Kinsellas. She spends her days helping around the farm and both John and Edna seem to genuinely care about her. Edna says something about how if she was theirs, she wouldn't be left in the company of strangers. They take the girl to town for clothes of her own and she learns that they did have a son, who died in a tragic accident. They are clearly still sad about it. The girl I think would have stayed there, but all too soon her dad turns up to take her back home and it seems like the Kinsellas will be saddened again by her leaving. 

I'm giving this four out of five; I really liked it.

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