Home Stretch by Graham Norton

British television host Graham Norton has written a beautifully touching coming of age story about a group of families whose lives become intertwined after a horrific accident occurs in their small Irish town. As lives are torn apart from the accident, it’s the intertwined secrets kept buried which seem to cause even more damage.

A group of young adults decide to go to the beach the day before two of them will be married. But the marriage will never occur. A terrible car accident will destroy all their lives. Three of them die. And as the town mourns the dead, their wrath turns to the driver of the car, Connor. Unable to bear this terrible burden on their family and their son, Connor’s parents decide to send him away to Liverpool to work in hopes he will return when the shock subsides. Little do they know it will be years before they even know he is still alive.

Connor, who has secrets he can never share, is thrown into a job and apartment with strangers. Then something happens to him and he is tossed onto the streets, a lost, guilty boy who feels he does not deserve to even be alive. He then spends many years of his life running. Running away from the accident, his life, himself and the embarrassment he thinks he is to his family.

As Connor’s parents give up hope of ever seeing their son again, their daughter Ellen has married one of the survivors of the accident. This marriage she realizes is very tangled. Connor has no idea of the situations back home as he has found his way to residing in New York. But a chance meeting with a stranger will once again change his life forever. Those secrets he has kept buried for years once again will surface and he must decide what to reveal and what must be taken to his grave.

Home Stretch examines the true love of family as well as the forgiveness we have to not only absolve someone of mistakes, but liberate oneself from the horrible burdens some carry. But for others, their ego is too great and they would rather feel nothing rather than be free to live the life they truly want.

Norton’s novel deals with love, loss and pain. But in the end his most important lesson is that the truth will always set you free.

Thank you #NetGalley #HarperCollinsPublishers #GrahamNorton #HomeStretch for the advanced copy. The book will be coming out in late June.

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