The Walk Home
By Rachel Seiffert
(Pantheon, Hardcover, 9780307908810, 304pp.)
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Stevie comes from a long line of people who have cut and run. Just like he has.
Only he’s not so sure he was right to go. He’s been to London, taught himself to get by, and now he’s working as a laborer not so far from his childhood home in Glasgow. But Stevie hasn’t told his family—what’s left of them—that he’s back. Not yet.
He’s also not far from his uncle Eric, another one who left—for love this time. Stevie’s toughened himself up against that emotion. And as for his mother, Lindsey . . . well, she ran her whole life. From her father and Ireland, from her husband, and eventually from Stevie, too.
Moving between Stevie’s contemporary Glaswegian life and the story of his parents when they were young, The Walk Home is a powerful novel about the risk of love, and the madness and betrayals that can split a family. Without your past, who are you? Where does it leave you when you go against your family, turn your back on your home; when you defy the world you grew up in? If you cut your ties, will you cut yourself adrift? Yearning to belong exerts a powerful draw, and Stevie knows there are still people waiting for him to walk home.
An extraordinarily deft and humane writer, Rachel Seiffert tells us the truth about love and about hope.
RACHEL SEIFFERT's first novel, The Dark Room, was short-listed for the Booker Prize, won the Los Angeles Times First Fiction Prize, and was the basis for the acclaimed motion picture Lore. She was one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists in 2003; in 2004, Field Study, her collection of short stories, received an award from PEN Inter-national. Her second novel, Afterwards, was long-listed for the 2007 Orange Prize, and in 2011 she received the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her books have been published in eighteen languages. Formerly of Glasgow, she now lives in London with her family.
“An engrossing domestic drama as much about family politics as it is about Northern Irish politics....Seiffert’s writing is both tightly controlled and almost orchestral in its sweep. You feel every emotion deeply, even as you are conscious of Seiffert deliberately drawing these emotions out. It’s a strange but not unpleasant sensation, a bit like observing an operation on yourself while under anesthetic. In this way, Seiffert’s writing feels very unusual, with a rare duality of precise writing and big emotional impact....a rare novel.”
“A brilliantly compelling and powerful work, told in beautiful, lean prose.”