Foster - Claire Keegan

Genre: Fiction/Irish Culture
Synopsis: A small girl is sent to live with foster parents on a farm in rural Ireland, without knowing when she will return home. In the strangers’ house, she finds a warmth and affection she has not known before and slowly begins to blossom in their care. And then a secret is revealed and suddenly, she realizes how fragile her idyll is. Winner of the Davy Byrnes Memorial Prize, Foster is now published in a revised and expanded version. Beautiful, sad and eerie, it is a story of astonishing emotional depth, showcasing Claire Keegan’s great accomplishment and talent.


Review: This is going to be a pretty short review, as I just don't have much to say about the book. I didn't initially realise it was so short - essentially it amounts to a short story, and I think it began life as such. I can see how - there isn't a huge amount of substance here. What there is, is lovely - but the emphasis is definitely on atmosphere and emotion, and on the passive observations of a girl sent to live with an elderly couple for a short period of time, rather than on any major plot.

While the writing was beautiful, and I would absolutely love to read a full novel by Claire, I didn't honestly see much point to this story. I feel like there was a point, buried, but barely touched upon. Something about a girl who is somewhat neglected in a massive family, who finds more love with a couple who lost their only child. Unfortunately, I didn't really feel anything for the unnamed main character, or her situation, as it was depicted in this story.

Maybe I just wasn't in the right frame of mind or something - I feel like the emotionally-weighted response evoked in me by Belinda McKeon's "Solace" is similar to what this story was meant to achieve, but it didn't. It was a quick, pleasant read, but not one that had any real impact on me.

Rating: 3/5 

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