Foster by Claire Keegan. Foster by Claire Keegan is a fiction, thriller, literature, redemption, paranormal, loss, grief, suspense and mystery novel that covers all the five main elements of a story plot, setting, conflict, characters, and theme.
Foster by Claire Keegan book overview
Without knowing when she will come home, a little girl is taken to live with foster parents on a farm in rural Ireland. She discovers a love and kindness in the strangers’ home that she had never experienced before, and under their nurturing, she slowly starts to develop. She soon understands how fleeting her idyll is as a secret is uncovered.
Foster, the Davy Byrnes Memorial Prize winner, has just been updated and expanded. It is a story of astounding emotional depth that is lovely, tragic, and scary, demonstrating Claire Keegan’s enormous talent and accomplishment.
Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan sticks out as one of my favourite recent reads as I reflect on the past three months. The narrative of Bill Furlong, a completely honest and diligent man who stays loyal to his personal principles when he notices disturbing symptoms of abuse at the nearby convent, is told in this book, which is set in a small village in County Wexford in the lead-up to Christmas 1985. It’s a powerful tale about defying the Catholic Church and standing up for what’s right, even if it compromises the safety of your family.
Foster, a shorter novella in a similar vein that is under 100 pages long and explores family, generosity, and compassion from a young child’s perspective It’s a stunning novel that confirms Keegan as one of my favourite Irish authors with the brilliant Maeve Brennan. It’s just as beautifully written as Small Things Like These.
Foster begins with a young girl being brought to County Wexford by her father, Dan, from Clonegal, County Carlow. Without mentioning a return date or the specifics of the arrangement, she will remain with family there, including an aunt and uncle she doesn’t know. The girl’s mother, Mary, is expecting a child, so the couple decided to send the daughter to Wexford to lessen the strain on their huge family back home.
The young woman quickly notices several peculiarities in her new surroundings with John and Edna Kinsella. The Kinsellas, who live and work on a farm like the girl’s parents, are country people, just like them. Despite this, the atmosphere feels more laid back than it does at home, with more time to ponder and breathe.
With my mother, everything is work—we make the butter, cook the meals, clean up afterward, get ready for Mass and school, wean the calves, hire men to plough and harrow the fields, stretch the budget, and set the alarm. But this home is an other kind. There is space and time to contemplate here. There might even be extra money.
The young girl (whose name we never learn) tells the tale herself, and this point of view provides the novella a lovely sense of intimacy while also brilliantly conveying the anxiety of not knowing how the future will turn out.
Days go by in this manner. I keep expecting something to go wrong or for the ease I feel to end—to wake up in a wet bed, to make a big mistake, to smash anything—but each day goes by very much the same as the one before.
The Kinsellas, who are childless, show the girl they care by treating her with love and compassion and by performing small deeds of kindness. The girl helps Edna around the house, doing lighter work than she is used to at home, as John works the farm and gets the crops ready for harvest. She learns the basic rhythms of household life here, including how to prepare fruit from the garden for jam and pastries.There is time for some enjoyment as well, such as the odd excursion into town to buy clothing and treats. The girl’s eyes light up when John hands her a pound note to spend. We also discover a little bit more about the Kinsellas and how their love for the girl, whom they cherish as one of their own, is probably undoubtedly formed by their past sorrows.
The atmosphere in the house becomes slightly more tense as the summer comes to an end because of the growing sense of uncertainty about the future. I won’t divulge much more about the plot’s development other than to say that Keegan absolutely nails the climax; it’s a moving scene.
Keegan expresses the tranquil rhythms of rural life in poetic prose. Her writing has a clarity and simplicity that grows throughout the novel.
Her writing is simple and sparse; every line is perfectly weighted and has the intended meaning. She also gives plenty of room for the reader to fill in the blanks by drawing their own conclusions from the story’s tidbits and observations.
The story appears to be set around the late 1970s/early 1980s, but there is a timeless quality to it that reflects the Ireland of the past. The ambiance of a small, tight-knit village, where everyone knows each other’s business and gossip is prevalent, is another aspect of Keegan’s writing that is flawless. In this scene, Edna’s nosy acquaintance has just returned from a funeral and has a lot to say.
Foster is a outstanding creation through Claire Keegan
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- PDF Language: English