Coronet has snapped up Graham Norton’s "compelling" third novel, with publication set for October.
Publisher Hannah Black bought world rights from Melanie Rockcliffe and Dylan Hearn at Troika. Home Stretch will be published in hardback, trade paperback, eBook and audio—which Norton will read.
"It is 1987 and a small Irish community is preparing for the wedding of two of its young inhabitants. They're barely adults, not so long out of school and still part of the same set of friends they've grown up with. As the friends head home from the beach that last night before the wedding, there is a car accident. Three survive the crash but three are killed. And the reverberations are felt throughout the small town," reads the synopsis. "Connor, the young driver of the car, lives. But staying among the angry and the mourning is almost as hard as living with the shame, and so he leaves the only place he knows for another life. Travelling first to Liverpool, then London, by the Noughties he has made a home—of sorts—for himself in New York. The city provides shelter and possibility for the displaced, somewhere Connor can forget his past and forge a new life. But the secrets, the unspoken longings and regrets that have come to haunt those left behind will not be silenced. And before long, Connor will have to meet his past."
Black said: "Graham Norton brings fine skill and tenderness to his writing. In his new novel Home Stretch, Norton turns his focus on the stories we tell ourselves, the tension between the draw of home and the longing for escape, and the inevitable reckoning that comes when we try to conceal our truth. This is Graham’s storytelling at its best: intelligently plotted, darkly knowing and, as ever, beautifully told."
Norton’s previous novels, Holding (Hodder) and A Keeper (Coronet), became instant bestsellers both in the UK and Ireland. Holding won the Irish Book Award for Popular Fiction and A Keeper was shortlisted for both the Specsavers Popular Fiction Award and the Irish Book Award in the Popular Fiction category.
Norton added: "Like many, I had always wanted to write a novel, but quietly assumed it would remain an unrealised ambition. I am, therefore, both astonished and delighted to find myself talking about my third book. Home Stretch is my most personal story to date and I look forward to readers meeting these new characters. The choices we make as young people can have long-lasting consequences, sometimes unexpected, and often devastating. Home Stretch is a book that begins with a catastrophic accident. Three people survive, but are they really the lucky ones?"