Lauren Molyneux curls up with a good book to review a latest best seller by local author Catherine Finch
The first novel in this two-part series, Catherine Finch’s debut Walking Apart, saw the fabric of David and Helen’s 30-year marriage begin to fray when Helen threw herself deeper into her already very demanding job, and David was left to twiddle his thumbs and stew in a lonely retirement. With David receiving attention from another woman in his walking group, eventually choosing to seek comfort in her companionship, and Helen allowing work to dominate her life and deteriorate her health, Walking Apart is a story that any reader can connect with, a novel ultimately about choice and duty, with real characters, beautiful description, and a plotline readers cannot help but become invested in.
The second instalment, Walking Alone, released in July 2020, resurrects Finch’s characters, whilst also resurrecting secrets and truths that were never truly buried at the close of the first, examining familiar themes and the feelings and anxieties of these characters with an even closer eye.
After choosing to hide the full extent of his affair in an attempt to protect his wife, David’s world becomes unravelled when his secrets are exposed, and the equilibrium in his family seems to implode. As Helen struggles to come to terms with the actions and deliberate deception of her unfaithful husband, David decides the best thing he can do is to give his wife the space she needs and take himself off to Spain to complete the pilgrims’ walk of the Camino de Santiago.
Set against a dynamic backdrop of green pastures, mountainous landscapes, and long, winding, well-beaten tracks, Walking Alone sees two soulmates attempt to overcome a black period in their past, face their hurt and move forward, with the steady reassurance provided by putting one foot in front of the other.
As heart-breaking as it is heart-warming, Walking Alone follows in the steps of its predecessor, and is a well-rounded novel providing a thoroughly enjoyable read. With fully developed characters, convincing dialogue, and a host of beautiful settings, it’s a novel which seeks to highlight the beauty of the present, the value of the little things, the kindness of strangers, and the optimism and sense of perspective that can be gained when life is stripped back to the basics. With each step David and Helen take on their journey, and each obstacle the couple overcome, they begin to advance beyond the turbulent times within their relationship, and their love is secured with an undeniable strength.
Catherine Finch draws upon her first-hand experiences of walking the Camino de Santiago to deliver a story which is bound to stick with readers.
You can discover more about the author and purchase any of her books from the website: www.chaffinchbooks.co.uk, or visit Amazon.co.uk, where Catherine’s books are available in Kindle or paperback format. Visitors to Clitheroe can pick up a copy from Number 10 bookshop, or from Fred Holdsworth booksellers in Ambleside.