The Walk Home: Book summary and reviews of The Walk Home by Rachel Seiffert

The Walk Home

by Rachel Seiffert

The Walk Home by Rachel Seiffert X
The Walk Home by Rachel Seiffert
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  • Published Jul 2014
    304 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Throughout, Seiffert questions whether it's possible to transcend a legacy of conflict without escaping your background altogether, and considers what life feels like when the concept of "home" is far from safe or simple." - Publishers Weekly

"Common themes run deep in this novel: people need one another desperately, yet their shared legacy of pain prevents any real healing... For readers who enjoy rocky emotional journeys and who also have some understanding of the history of Ireland's political troubles." - Library Journal

"In this vividly atmospheric, achingly poignant, and sharply provocative tale, British novelist Seiffert (Afterwards, 2007), whose many honors include an E. M. Forster Award, sharply appraises the tenuous bonds that draw families together and the deeply held convictions that can drive them apart." - Booklist

"A brilliantly compelling and powerful work, told in beautiful, lean prose." - The Economist

"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... a rare novel." - Irish Independent

This information about The Walk Home was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Rachel Seiffert

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.

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