Announcing our Top 20 Books of 2022

Reviews of Foster by Claire Keegan

Foster

by Claire Keegan

Foster by Claire Keegan X
Foster by Claire Keegan
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Nov 2022, 128 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Rebecca Foster
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

An international bestseller and one of The Times' "Top 50 Novels Published in the 21st Century," Claire Keegan's piercing contemporary classic Foster is a heartbreaking story of childhood, loss, and love; now released as a standalone book for the first time ever in the US.

It is a hot summer in rural Ireland. A child is taken by her father to live with relatives on a farm, not knowing when or if she will be brought home again. In the Kinsellas' house, she finds an affection and warmth she has not known and slowly, in their care, begins to blossom. But there is something unspoken in this new household—where everything is so well tended to—and this summer must soon come to an end.

Winner of the prestigious Davy Byrnes Award and published in an abridged version in the New Yorker, this internationally bestselling contemporary classic is now available for the first time in the US in a full, standalone edition. A story of astonishing emotional depth, Foster showcases Claire Keegan's great talent and secures her reputation as one of our most important storytellers.

Sadly, an excerpt of this book is currently unavailable.





Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Coming in at under 130 pages, Foster nevertheless bears all the hallmarks of a book several times its length: a convincing and original voice, rich character development, an evocative setting, psychological depth, conflict and sensitive treatment of difficult themes like poverty and neglect. In this exquisite novella, Keegan unfolds a cautionary tale of endangered childhood, also hinting at the enduring difference a little compassion can make...continued

Full Review Members Only (666 words).

(Reviewed by Rebecca Foster).

Media Reviews

The Observer (UK)
A thing of finely honed beauty and cumulative power, a story that deals in suggestion, exactitude and telling detail.

Times Literary Supplement (UK)
A masterly combination of things pregnant and poised, frozen and in flux.

Vogue, "The Best Books to Read this Fall"
Balancing Keegan's delicate, sparing prose and masterful ear for dialogue with a tale that is almost overwhelming in its tenderness, Foster is a heart-wrenching treasure of a book that only serves to confirm Keegan's place as one of contemporary Irish literature's leading lights.

The Daily Telegraph (UK)
Keegan has mastered a style that echoes Seamus Heaney's early poetry and the stories of William Trevor, but which has grown more enclosed and lyrical with each book. The dark humour of the early work has given way to a lush melancholy that has found its perfect length at 88 pages.

The Guardian (UK)
Keegan's lyrical novella was originally a New Yorker short story, but it has gained greatly from this expansion: the narrative breathes along with the child slowly detaching from her cramped, impoverished home and starting to unfurl, leaf-like, in an atmosphere of attentiveness.

Booklist (starred review)
A gem of a book, to be savored again and again.

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Pristine…Both concise and gut-wrenching. [Keegan's] superficially simple prose persuasively conveys a child's sometimes-innocent but always careful and insightful observations of the world…A heartbreaking but deeply humane story about parents and children.

New York Times
Keegan's novella is a master class in child narration. The voice resists the default precociousness, and walks the perfect balance between naïveté and acute emotional intelligence.

Publishers Weekly
[C]harming...deeply moving...will capture readers' hearts.

Irish Times
It has beauty, harshness, menace, and the spine of steel worthy of high art… Keegan is a realist who has mastered describing the chaos of feeling.

Author Blurb Hilary Mantel
Foster confirms Claire Keegan's talent. She creates luminous effects with spare material, so every line seems to be a lesson in the perfect deployment of both style and emotion.

Author Blurb Richard Ford
Foster puts on display an imposing array of formal beauties at the service of a deep and profound talent…She brings a thrilling synesthetic instinct for the unexpected right word, and exhibits patient attention to life's vast consequence and finality…a high-wire act of uncommon narrative virtuosity.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Beyond the Book: Claire Keegan and the Art of Short Fiction

Promotional photo of film The Quiet GirlClaire Keegan is a writer’s writer — lauded by the likes of William Trevor, who chose her first short story collection, Antarctica (1999), for the William Trevor Prize; Hilary Mantel, who gave her second short story collection, Walk the Blue Fields (2007), the Edge Hill Short Story Prize; and Richard Ford, who awarded Foster the Davy Byrnes Irish Writing Award in 2009. Now, nearly 25 years into her career, her work is also finding the popular audience that it deserves. Small Things Like These was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Rathbones Folio Prize. It also won the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction for tackling the open secret of the Catholic Church’s Magdalene Laundries, where, even as late as 1985, when Keegan...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Read-alikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Claire Keegan

If you liked Foster, try these:

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search read-alikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join and Save 20%!

Become a member and
discover exceptional books.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: I'm the Girl
    I'm the Girl
    by Courtney Summers
    YA author Courtney Summers doesn't believe in shielding her teenage readers from the world's darkest...
  • Book Jacket: They're Going to Love You
    They're Going to Love You
    by Meg Howrey
    Teenage Carlisle lives with her mother in Ohio, but their relationship has never felt particularly ...
  • Book Jacket: The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen
    The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen
    by Isaac Blum
    That irreplaceable feeling of everyone knowing your name. The yearning to be anonymous. Parents ...
  • Book Jacket: Now Is Not the Time to Panic
    Now Is Not the Time to Panic
    by Kevin Wilson
    The edge is a shantytown filled with gold seekers. We are fugitives, and the law is skinny with ...

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Natural History
    by Andrea Barrett

    A masterful new collection of interconnected stories, from the renowned National Book Award–winning author.

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

W N, W Not

and be entered to win..

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Ways We Hide
by Kristina McMorris
From the bestselling author of Sold On A Monday, a sweeping tale of an illusionist recruited by British intelligence in World War II.
Who Said...

Censorship, like charity, should begin at home: but unlike charity, it should end there.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.