Review: Keeper and Kid

Keeper and Kid – Edward Hardy

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published 2007 – 294 pages

From the book jacket –

Eight years ago, James Keeper fell in love with his upstairs neighbor in Boston, a sassy pastry chef with gray eyes and a fierce attitude.  They got married, found a dog, and shopped for cilantro.  But conflicting schedules and a real estate deal gone bad took its toll on the twenty-somethings in love.  One divorce later, the hand-me-down chairs were separated, the potato-masher custody settled, and Keeper moved to Providence to work with his best friend selling antiques at a quirky shop called Love and Death.

A new job, a new love, and a new life now in place, Keeper is in a comfortable situation.  Business is steady, Leah (the new love) is intriguing and passionate, and Keeper’s friends always turn up for Sunday evening Card Night.

But one phone call from his former mother-in-law changes everything.  And so days later, Keeper comes away with a son he never knew he had, and life all of a sudden takes on a new meaning.

Leo, the precocious three-year-old who sports Keeper’s square chin, is more than a handful – he eats only round foods, refuses to bathe, thinks he’s a bear, and refers to Leah as “that man”.  For a guy who never knew he’d be a parent, Keeper is thrown headfirst into fatherhood – and has no idea what to do.  As Keeper and Leo adjust to the shock of each other and their suddenly very different lives, Keeper begins to open up to the people in his life in turns strange and heartwarming, funny and painful.  But some, like Leah, aren’t so eager for change.

In this humorous and poignant novel, Edward Hardy explores the depths of modern love, parenthood, and compromise.  Keeper and Kid is the story of how a normal guy receives an unexpected gift and in turn must learn to ask more of others and himself.  A coming-of-age story from the guy who thought he had already grown up, Keeper and Kid is a sharp and witty account of what we do for love.

My thoughts –

I didn’t particularly love this book when I started reading it – I definitely wasn’t sucked in from the start, and I was very unsure about my feelings toward Keeper, the main character in the novel.  He did not strike me as too likable a character, for some reason.  I kept reading, though, because I had heard really great things about this book, and also because I was reading an autographed copy that I am pretty sure I got from Natasha in a giveaway. 

Thank goodness I kept reading!  I ended up really enjoying this novel.  As soon as Leo came into the picture, the book really took off.  What a great character this kid was – first of all, I couldn’t help but feel SO bad for him, the kid is three years old and his mom dies, so he goes to live with his grandma and aunt, and as soon as he gets settled in there, he has to go live with this guy he’s never even met before, in a new city, and go to a new day care, with all new friends.  No wonder he comes up with imaginary friends and needs his security blanket!  But even though the situation was actually very sad, the interactions between Keeper and Leo were SO funny.  Keeper really just had no earthly idea of what he was doing, and Leo was too busy being a bear to really care too much… the combination of which produced some absolutely hilarious scenes between the two of them.  The supporting characters were pretty well-written too, I think.  I especially liked the character of Grace (Leo’s aunt).

And the ending… LOVED it.  Nothing else to say because of course I’m not going to spoil it, but really, hats off to Ed Hardy, because the ending was absolutely perfect to me.  I can’t express enough how happy I was to read those last few pages – not that I wanted it to end, but because it ended exactly like I hoped it would but didn’t actually believe it would.

So definitely pick this book up.  It’s well worth your time.

This book was also reviewed by:  Kristen at Book Club Classics, Amy at Novels Now, Lesley at Novels Now, 3M at Novels Now, Julie at Booking Mama, Amanda at A Patchwork of Books, Trish at Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’?, Lisa at Books on the Brain, Jeane at Dog Ear Diary, and Melanie at Lit*Chick.

9 thoughts on “Review: Keeper and Kid”

  1. Great review, Heather! I liked this book, too, and was lucky enough to be able to interview the author for my blog. He was great! (The link above to my review at Books on the Brain takes you to the interview, too. Thanks for linking it!)

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