Forever Home: THIS AUTUMN'S MUST-READ NOVEL FROM GRAHAM NORTON
About this deal
So with this as a background, I leapt into Forever Home, which follows Carol, her second relationship with Declan (and his children), but is formulated in the shadow of his first marriage - where did the wife go, and why would she leave her children? e: normal people; they’re overweight (usual TV no no), normal looking (again, usual TV no no), have issues with personal relationships and alcohol, there are long held secrets, loyalties and grudges.
Good story, heart-warming elements, strong themes and humour to cut through the dark/surreal elements. Not to his young children, son Killan and daughter Sally, and not to the gossip mongers in the town in Ireland. Although this novel was very readable and I did enjoy the story very much, I did feel that some of the character’s actions stretched credibility.
A book that deals with the despair of dementia, the relationship between parents and children with a twisty mystery and some highly comic moments thrown in for good measure. Declan is soon moved into a nursing home, his untrusting and clearly messed-up children booting Carol out of their house so they can secure a quick advance on their inheritance. It is wonderfully intricate with 'normal' people as characters who you will want to gossip about alongside everyone else in the community!
We slowly uncover more about Carol, Declan, her family and Declan's children as the novel continues, and start to wonder if everyone is hiding something. I really enjoyed the narration by Graham Norton; his easy-going voice and character kept the level of this mystery at the cozy level, infused with humor, deprecation, love, dislike, and general snarkiness.
One annoyance was that I read it on a kindle and the lack of chapter breaks was really irritating but hopefully this will be rectified in the book.
This provided many new plots, twists, and turns, so stick with it and have fun, because even as you wonder if it's going to derail, or you're going to go nuts, Norton's cheery voice keeps luring and lulling you back in.This novel, about a family often on the edge, is set in a small town in Ireland and narrated by the author, Graham Norton. A lot of the story deals with parental responsibility and guilt, as well as the extents you go to so as to save your life and the life of your children. Carol met and fell in love with Declan later in life, and unfortunately, he has developed early onset dementia, forcing her to move out of his house which she shared with him when his children move Declan to a nursing home and decide to sell up. Graham William Walker is an Irish actor, comedian, television presenter and columnist, known by his stage name Graham Norton.
There are more serious issues dealt with in the book (dementia, child pornography, gay couple having a child), but these are all handled with the lightest of touches so that the book never becomes bogged down but rather stays entertaining and gossipy. It is ostensibly the story of middle aged Carol whose second chance at love ends when Declan develops early onset dementia. Immediately positive ideas are dispelled because after Channel 4’s Brookside we are all familiar with the concept of the ‘body under the patio’, and after ITV’s cold case series Unforgotten, bodies defrosting in freezers have become run of the mill. This one actually probably most resembles Holding (which I would consider his weakest) in the sense that it is effectively a dark comedy, a caper, veering into farce at times. I've had a soft spot for Graham Norton ever since his Father Ted days and have more recently enjoyed his novels along with his chat shows.
There's a large cast of characters from: Carol, a divorced teacher, her easy-going boyfriend Declan, Carol's energetic and opinionated mother, Moira (who I enjoyed and laughed about), Carol's father, her only son, and Declan's selfish, adult children: one is a gay son married to his partner and the other is a fractured daughter.