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The Walk Home: A Novel Hardcover – July 8, 2014
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“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.”
Top Customer Reviews
Rachel Seiffert made her mark with The Dark Room (filmed as Lore) and The Way Home similarly deals with social upheaval, family troubles and absent parents, but the subject seems closer to home this time and the situation rather more complex. The focus is divided between Graham and Stevie (the connection between them soon becomes clear), Graham meeting Lindsay, a young 17 year old girl, while playing with his Drumchapel Orange Lodge band in Co. Tyrone in Northern Ireland. When the girl turns up pregnant in Glasgow, the young couple try to make a go of starting a family and keeping it together, but old traditions, the past and family troubles prove hard to put behind them.
Surprisingly, or perhaps not, Seiffert doesn't wallow in the misery and there's precious little conventional violence in The Way Home. The violence is of different kind, the kind inflicted on families and individuals who strive to better their lives and escape from the trappings of the past and their community. A lot is left unsaid, but suggestions and implications are left open, in particular with relation to Lindsey's family in Northern Ireland.Read more ›
But it so happens that this touches my own life in a couple of places. I grew up in Northern Ireland, and the Orange parades were a festive feature of the July scene, with their banners and sashes, fife bands and big painted Lambeg drums. I did not then see it as a dangerous manifestation of Protestant tribalism aimed to intimidate the Catholic minority; it was simply the mythology that the boys in my dormitory used to share in stories after lights out. Many years later, I moved to Glasgow for the first five years of my professional life, and was surprised to find the Ulster rivalries being played out in proxy by the supporters of the two football teams, Rangers and Celtic, with the same bands and symbols and almost equal aggression, though stopping short of bombs and kneecapping. I lived in a distinguished crescent in the University area, but it was impossible to ignore the hooliganism fomented by the misguided creation of huge housing projects on the fringes of the city. Drumchapel, where Seiffert's novel is largely set, was one of the worst.
Her novel plays out in two time frames.Read more ›
Sitting on the outside looking into to the family relationships of this story as I, a reader found myself, caused me considerable angst. It was as if I knew that the actions of the members of the family were going to disrupt the fiber of the family. No matter how much I yelled at the book attempting to warn the individuals that they should forget their biases and their egos in favor of the love of family, they never heard me. Of particular concern to me was when strong feelings and arguments erupted in the presence of small children of the family causing the child to feel that for some reason he was responsible for the disruption.
There are several lessons in this book for the reader, I appreciate all of them for I have seen, perhaps in a lesser extent similar disruptions which caused permanent relationship damage.
I recommend this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautiful prose yet the story dragged on - waited for the climax that never came.Published 3 months ago by C. Zdyb
Graham and Lindsey meet in Northern Ireland. Lindsey lives there, sixteen and discontent with her life living with her father who ignores her. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Sandra Iler Kirkland
There is no end to the stories that can be told about families, especially dysfunctionally complex ones, as inhabit this novel. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Bluestalking Reader
I wanted to give this novel a "5" and a "2" simultaneously. That came out to a "3. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Reader from Washington, DC
Rachel Seiffert's 3rd novel The Walk Home is a story of love and hope amidst the unreasonable religious and political conflict in one of the most deprived and roughest... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Krystal Reviews
Rachel Seiffert's "The Walk Home" might have been re-titled "The Very Very Long Walk Home. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Lee Armstrong
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. Read more
Family. The most complicated and difficult and rewarding of relationships. This is an exploration of an unconventional family in an unconventional place: Northern Ireland after... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Meg Sumner
The Walk Home by Rachel Seiffert is a highly recommended novel set in Glasgow about conflict, loss, and the nature of what is a home. Read morePublished 19 months ago by She Treads Softly