Elizabeth Keane, UN agency occupies centre stage in Graham Norton’s new novel, is “a lecturer in Romantic poetry living in a very little rented apartment” in NY. We all know this as a result of Elizabeth thinks it to herself, in a gap chapter consisting virtually entirely of comparable ruminations. Exposition of this type is one in every of the chores that the writer should get on with, and if it’s done discreetly the reader hardly notices. Norton dispenses with these niceties, issue North American nation instead with a sizeable info pack. We learn, for example, that Elizabeth is recently single, that her mother’s death has occasioned her come back to Ireland which she dislikes Christmas.

And there’s a lot of to return. Once Elizabeth admits herself to the now-deserted family home, she has hardly climbed the steps before the revelations begin tumbling out. Encountering a mirror, she takes stock of her face expression as if encountering them for the primary time, a follow in style among male writers if not among actual ladies. However it’s once Elizabeth discovers a cache of her mother’s correspondence that the one-armed bandit starts to disburse in earnest.

At now, a parallel narrative is introduced, one whose parts area unit in some ways in which acquainted. Forty years within the past, we have a tendency to encounter Elizabeth’s mother, Patricia, whose own mother has died following an extended unhealthiness. Free once years of duteous slavery, Patricia resolves to hunt out the romantic fulfilment she has denied herself for therefore long. Again, a good several particulars area unit provided early, and though there are masses to select over during this treasure trove of case history, it’s not the least bit clear what we have a tendency to need to build of it.

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