Keep Walking, Rhona Beech
Publication date: April 4th 2019
Genres: 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.
I am a patient. My job is to lie in this bed. I do my job well. Who I would be at home is less clear. And nobody would be there, beside themselves with relief that I am back.
I’d have to do things, necessary things – plus other things I would have to do just to be seen to be doing something.
Doing things makes me tired.
Doing things leads to other things, and things have a habit of changing when you’d got used to them being a certain way.
My heart broke. My body broke.
The bailiffs came for a cone-shaped piece. What exactly do you people want from me?
I didn’t have obsessive compulsive disorder when I came in but might well have it by the time I leave (an okay trade?). There is precious little to do but notice things and how often they occur.
Times per hour I assess how my wound site is feeling: about seven.
Times per day I remember to visualise a healthy wound site: maybe one.
Number of days with a Tupperware lid of cloud cover outside: six.
(The sheets, the walls, the sky – all the colour of bone.
Am I that colour too? I have no mirror to tell otherwise.
Maybe everyone who goes under anaesthetic wakes up in this world of bone, while their previous lives continue somewhere else.)
Minutes per day the nurses listen to a facile breakfast DJ: 120.
Minutes per day I am now able to breathe behind the radio and tune it out: 40.
Times per day I imagine being outdoors for hours on end: one, but it lasts awhile.
Times per day I notice that my left foot sits higher under the sheet than my right: about a dozen.
Times per day I speak: zero.
Times per day I make eye contact with the parent who has come to visit: on arrival only. (I will not cry in a room with a half glass wall, with a person who has to leave afterwards.)
Times per hour I remember what other people have to cope with in life: one, if I make myself.
Times per day I imagine a year from now, when things could be very different: zero, initially, now up to two or three.
Times per hour the perma-grin nurse sings out to the woman opposite, ‘Feeling okay, Nancy?’: too many. (I am waiting for Nancy to be discharged or die.)
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.
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