Maria's Pick: "Foster" by Claire Keegan
After reading Claire Keegan’s previous novella, Small Things Like These, one of my favorite books last year, I jumped at the chance to read Foster. It did not disappoint.
Spare and beautifully simple in her writing style, Claire Keegan tells the story of a young Irish girl whose parents have too many mouths to feed. Her mother's pregnancy and her father’s drinking and gambling led them to send the girl off to distant relatives living on the coast of Wexford for the summer.
In Wexford she experiences everyday life with the Kinsellas. She helps with chores and is treated with a kind love and gentleness that is new to her. She discovers that they have had their own heartbreak and grief but deal with it differently than her own family. She grows to love both them and the setting, wishing it could be permanent.
It is hard to describe the succinct beauty of Foster. There is so much feeling portrayed between the lines that I not only listened to the story on Libro.fm, but then felt compelled to read the book as well to capture every part of it.