By Martha Brennan
BANDON native Graham Norton has announced the publication of his third novel, Home Stretch, after finishing the book during lockdown.
The BBC presenter is set to release the novel in October, making it his fifth overall book release to date. Norton said that this novel is his most personal so far, and its rural setting seems to be once again inspired by his native West Cork.
‘Like many, I had always wanted to write a novel, but quietly assumed it would remain an unrealised ambition.’ Norton said. ‘I am, therefore, both astonished and delighted to find myself talking about my third book.’
The latest venture is sure to be a hit, with his last book, A Keeper, becoming a Sunday Times bestseller and his first novel, Holding, landing on The New York Times bestselling list.
This novel tells the tale of a group from a rural Irish village who are involved in a car accident as the community prepares for a wedding between two of its young locals. The driver, who survives the accident, flees his small village for London following the aftermath.
The tension between the draw of home and a longing to leave it is a recurring theme in Norton’s novels, which have all been based in rural Ireland, seemingly inspired by the author’s own background.
Norton often returns to West Cork to stay at his holiday home in Dunmanus Bay, which he calls ‘paradise’, usually visiting Durrus and other parts of the area on his trips.
The award-winning presenter also took part in a recent charity book by bestselling author Adam Kay, titled Dear NHS: 100 Stories to Say Thank You. Norton’s story starts the book, recalling a horrific time when he was stabbed after first moving to London.
‘I look forward to readers meeting these new characters.’ Norton said of his own book release.
‘The choices we make as young people can have long-lasting consequences, sometimes unexpected, and often devastating.’
Norton will narrate the audio version of the book and the paperback copy is available for pre-order now.