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Home Stretch Reviews

Home Stretch by Graham Norton

Home Stretch: From the bestselling author of The Keeper

Graham Norton

4.00 out of 5

4 reviews

Imprint: Coronet Books
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication date: 1 Oct 2020
ISBN: 9781473665187

In the compelling new novel, Home Stretch, Graham Norton demonstrates his keen understanding of the power of stigma and secrecy - with quietly devastating results.

4 stars out of 5
Patricia Nicol
25 Oct 2020

"a compelling, big-hearted, emotionally precise page-turner"

Here he skilfully keeps a lid on a pressure-cooker plot to create a compelling, big-hearted, emotionally precise page-turner. The first of his novels to explore gay themes, the book navigates Ireland’s progression from petrified bigotry to liberal tolerance.

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
Kate Saunders
17 Oct 2020

"the story opens out into a commentary on recent Irish history"

Connor is starting to realise that he is gay, and a chance encounter in Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral changes his life. Just as he seems to have hit rock bottom, he goes to London and finds his “tribe” in the gay community. It is not a happy ending, however; Connor’s life has been warped by prejudice and small-town snobbery. It is only years later, when he is living in New York, that another chance encounter finally sends him home to face the whole, heart-rending truth.

4 stars out of 5
14 Oct 2020

"I quickly found myself totally engrossed in Norton’s surprising and touching novel"

It is excellent that Norton decided to write such an unabashedly queer novel. I’m not saying he goes full Dennis Cooper – Home Stretch is very much a popular fiction version of a queer novel – but I am filled with a certain giddiness knowing that a novel with repeated references to twinks and Fire Island is now being thrust into the hands of tens of thousands of Irish mothers. Echoes of Tóibín’s The Blackwater Lightship reverberate throughout, perhaps a bit too loudly at times, but that can be forgiven given the bedrock-like position of Tóibín’s novel within the queer Irish canon.

4 stars out of 5
3 Oct 2020

"this family saga is Norton’s most ambitious and best yet"

Small Irish towns and the individual struggles within them are Graham Norton’s speciality. You could call it S.I.T. Lit. When sleepy Mullinmore is torn apart by a tragic accident, Connor is implicated and has to leave.

Beautifully written, warm-hearted, moving and pacy, this family saga is Norton’s most ambitious and best yet.