Thursday, October 22, 2020

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Keep Walking, Rhona Beech by Kate Tough

Title: Keep Walking, Rhona Beech
Author: Kate Tough
Publisher: Abacus
Publication Date: April 4th 2019
Print Length: 238 pages
Genre: Women’s Fiction

Incredibly insightful, funny and poignant’ Helen Sedgwick

‘A warm and ferociously witty story. Truth rings from every page of this assured, engrossing debut’ Zoe Strachan

When Rhona’s story comes to an end you will miss her. Her candid, raw, messy journey will make you laugh, cry and remember. Not a typical break-up book, it’s much more profound. Nothing has turned out quite how Rhona imagined: she’s been casually swapping one job for another while getting comfy in a long relationship which ends abruptly, and her efforts to adjust to that change are thrown by some unwelcome news…

Flawed, relatable Rhona Beech narrates this beautifully written, pacey satire about female friendship, heartbreak, career change, conceiving and illness, which will appeal to fans of Fleabag. Join her on a laugh (and cry) out loud search for meaning amongst the bars, offices and clinics of Glasgow.

Will her friendships survive the changes and challenges? Will SHE survive? At once funny and tender, Keep Walking, Rhona Beech is a clear-sighted look at a generation of women that was told they could have it all. 

Waking up, I remember what day it is. Today doesn’t have to feel a certain way, I tell myself, it’s not the law; and I must fall back asleep because when I open my eyes again time has moved on to 8.24. Not twitching as much as a toe, I lie there calculating how much time will be used up in showering, dressing and eating breakfast. Twenty minutes for each? Which takes me to . . .9.30. An hour-and-a-half short. I’m not needed anywhere till eleven o’clock.

I won’t go to a hotel gym on Christmas morning. It’s not right. There is a line.

With a multi-course meal being eaten later, there’s no point in extending breakfast. And dressing can only take so long. The task I will have to eke out is the shower. Bathe instead. That thought engenders the closest thing to happy I’ve felt for days. A brimming container of hot water, in late dawn light, with complimentary products to test. Brain off, body on.

Heading to the bathroom, I switch on the wall lights and pick up the one-person kettle to fill at the basin. I set the bath taps going and pour in the thumb-sized bubble bath. In the bedroom again, I connect the kettle, pull on my dressing-gown and chuck myself on the bed.

I won’t watch TV alone on Christmas morning. There is a line.

The clock has a built-in radio. And I’m in Yorkshire; there could be stations I’ve never heard. Little gifts, like emptying the Christmas stocking before the main pile. I turn the tuning dial quickly to one end – no sneak previews. Gently, between thumb and forefinger, the knob revolves and my ear strains to catch every signal; a safecracker listening for the click. The bedside telephone rings. I yelp with fright. For a micro-second I think, Is it Mark?, but of course it won’t be. It could only be Reception, or one of my family. I brace picking up the receiver; Don’t wish me Merry Christmas over the phone, don’t wish me Merry Christmas over the phone.

‘You almost ready?’ asks Mum.

‘I’m not due there till eleven,’ I tell her.

‘I know but you could come along now, if you wanted. Save you sitting there on your own. Callum would love you to play with his presents, your Dad and I are exhausted already.’ 

‘Annie said eleven. She and David have got enough bodies under their feet. And I’ve not had my bath.’

At 11.10, I get out of the cab and arrive at my brother’s front door. Don’t hug me and wish me Merry Christmas, don’t hug me and wish me Merry Christmas.

After the main course I go to the bathroom because the dining room has no air left, and my family at the table has become a scene in a snowstorm ornament that I’m holding in my hand.

During the all-family game of Trivial Pursuit, I can’t remember which colour belongs to which category.

‘Photosynthesis,’ I offer. 

‘No,’ says Annie’s aunt, sternly, and replaces the card. ‘Billiards.’

‘Time for a pot of tea?’ I ask.

‘That’s a nice idea, Rhona,’ says Mum, ‘I’ll give you a hand.’ 

‘You’ve done more than enough today,’ I tell her. 

Waiting for the water to boil, I stand in the darkened kitchen. My shoulders fall forward, my chest convulses and no sound comes out as tears smash to nothing on the Italian slate tiles.
Kate Tough worked for the Scottish Parliament for six years before returning to her home city, gaining a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow. She writes poetry and fiction rooted in realism, humour and sometimes difficult truths.

She creates astute observational detail in fiction, and explores painful moments, that readers could recognise as themselves or their friends.

Her novel, Keep Walking, Rhona Beech, is the revised 2nd edition of Head for the Edge, Keep Walking. Her short fiction and poetry appear in journals such as, The Brooklyn Review, The Texas Review and The Found Poetry Review. Kate’s poetry pamphlet, tilt-shift, was Runner Up in the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award, 2017.

Kate's been a literacy volunteer and creative writing tutor in many community settings.

Website * Goodreads
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  1. This sounds like a lovely book.

  2. I like he cover. It has very nice artwork.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

  3. Sounds like a great read. I like reading women's fiction.

  4. Thank you for sharing, sounds like a great book

  5. thanks this sounds like a wonderful book

  6. Kate is a new author for me. This novel sounds like one not to miss. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Haven't read anything of hers yet but I love poetry!

  8. "When Rhona’s story comes to an end you will miss her."

    I love these kinds of books. Thanks for the giveaway!

  9. The book sounds very interesting. Great cover!

  10. I enjoyed the excerpt! Thank you for the giveaway!

  11. The excerpt is interesting. Thanks for sharing it.

  12. Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed the excerpt.

  13. How long did it take you to write your book?

  14. sounds like a fun one

  15. I would really like to read this one!