cover image A Keeper

A Keeper

Graham Norton. Atria, $27 (320p) ISBN 978-1-9821-1776-4

At the start of this engrossing tale of love gone wrong from British author Norton (Holding), Elizabeth Keane—a New York divorcée with a 17-year-old son, Zach—returns to her childhood home in Buncarragh, Ireland, after the death of her mother, Patricia. While going through her mother’s possessions, Elizabeth discovers a box containing love letters written to her mother from her father, Edward Foley. All Elizabeth was previously told about her father is that Patricia left home to visit Edward and, after months without communicating with family or friends, returned widowed with an infant, Elizabeth. When her mother’s solicitor informs Elizabeth that she has inherited Castle House, the Foley family manse, she decides to visit there to see what she can learn about her father. Talking to people who knew Edward, she learns more about her mother’s tragic love affair with him and past misdeeds. Meanwhile, Elizabeth’s relationship with Zach is put to the test as secrets he has been withholding from her are gradually revealed. Norton subtly portrays how Elizabeth’s understanding of her past and present undergoes fundamental change. Only marginally a mystery, this one will appeal to fans of sensitive character studies. (Aug.)