Foster by Claire Keegan
Length: 92 pages
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
My Rating: 4 stars
From the Goodreads Description:
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.
Just like Small Things Like These, Claire Keegan weaves a beautiful but heart-breaking story which packs an emotional punch – and all within a very short amount of pages. Foster is powerful and moving; it brought me to tears more than once. It is about love, loss, compassion, kindness and simplicity and how the warmth and tenderness of a couple impact the life of a child.
“And that is when he puts his arms around me and gathers me into them as though I were his own.” (p. 67)
My only complaint (which is not a complaint at all) is that the ending leaves you hanging and I wanted more resolution. It was quite ambiguous. But that quality I think is intentional. Throughout, Keegan’s writing does not judge. Her masterful writing often leaves the reader to draw their own conclusions. And so it is with the ending. So I chose to believe in the happy ending I envisioned. 🙂 I’m not often a fan of ambiguous endings; but in Foster it works, even if I wanted a happy ending spelled out for me on the pages.
This novella was superbly and brilliantly written. Claire Keegan is fast becoming a favorite author of mine. Both books I’ve read by her have stayed with me. I pretty much know I will want to buy any book she writes. 🙂
“Part of me wants my father to leave me here while another part of me wants him to take me back, to what I know. I am in a spot where I can neither be what I always am nor turn into what I could be.” (p. 9)
But this is a different type of house. Here there is room, and time to think. There may even be money to spare.” (p. 12)
“Her hands are like my mother’s hands but there is something else in them too, something I have never felt before and have no name for. I feel at such a loss for words but this is a new place, and new words are needed.” (p. 16)