Keep Walking Rhona Beech

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 4 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

A funny look at life. This is a poignant and in places sad look at single life and friendship. This is about the events that happen in life and not wanting to be alone. 

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
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I am always slightly uneasy when I look at a book and I ask myself “What ‘type’ of a novel is this?” The answer here is “A gratifying, moving and very comical one,” in more or less equal measures. 

Although I would say that “Keep Walking Rhona Beech” is extremely amusing and, at times, positively hilarious, this is qualified by a feeling of great sadness, too. It’s a journey of loss, companionship, love and needing to be happy with your life, with or without a Significant Other. I am sure that most of us could identify with the protagonist, Rhona on some level, at least. I certainly know that I could, so much so that I found myself wanting to help her to break out of her life of monotony and dreariness. “Keep Walking, Rhona Beech” gives out the message that there is a need to be happy with yourself otherwise there may never be a happy ending.

In the novel, the reader is taken on a journey to experience, along with Rhona, her everyday struggles with her current life, as in her purpose, friendships, love and even her very identity. Rhona and her pals are just like the rest of us - likeable, flawed and sometimes perplexing. The journey ranged from the mundane to the downright outrageous that had the effect, at times, that I WAS Rhona. There were instances where this was a very difficult read for me, however, it was always convincing, credible and extremely worthwhile. 

I enjoyed “Keep Walking, Rhona Beech” so much and I'm hoping to read more by Kate Tough soon…

[Thanks to #NetGalley, Little, Brown Book Group UK and the author, Kate Tough, for my free ARC of #KeepWalkingRhonaBeech in exchange for an honest review.]
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Life has just hidden behind a corner and stuck a foot out as Rhona Beech came past. She and Mark had been together for nine years and it was beginning to feel settled. Then Mark announced that he'd got a job in Canada and he was going whether Rhona wanted to come with him or not. The not bit of the sentence was the way it worked out and Rhona was left on her own. Well, she wasn't completely on her own: she had friends and family, but it's not the same as having that special someone in your life, that someone who makes you part of a couple. So Rhona had to start again, rejoining a world that bore little resemblance to the one she'd left nine years ago - and there's a lot of difference between being in the middle of your twenties and the middle of your thirties.

Have you ever got to the bottom of the first page in a book and known that you were going to love it? That's what happened to me with Keep Walking, Rhona Beech. What a wonderful character Rhona is. Far too many people have been in the situation of having a long-standing relationship collapse for one reason or another and we understand how Rhona feels. We recognise the temptation to give in to the sadness:

I get up. I go to work. I spend the whole day waiting for the words on my screen to make sense. In the commuter broth of the carriage home, tears run in hot lines to my jaw and for a minute or so, I let them.

It's when there's a serious medical problem that she feels at her loneliest. Her friends do their best to help, but her oldest friend, Hilary, has just met up with Gary and however you lay it out, the bits of the jigsaw don't really fit together that well anymore. Tania's not particularly well-balanced, but Erin and Lizzie do their best to be there for Rhona. She'd love to talk to Mark, but his old mobile number doesn't work any more and she doesn't have his new one. There is, of course, the option of ringing Mark's mother and asking for his new number, but she knows that it would be refused - and that Mark would be told about the request.

Does this all sound rather worthy? If so it's because I'm really not doing justice to just how good this book is. Rhona's got a lot to deal with, but she's got a sardonic wit. I laughed with her, but never at her. And I loved that she stayed positive no matter what life threw at her. Best of all I really wanted to stand up and cheer when she stopped wishing that she was part of a couple and gloried in being Rhona Beech.

It's a book to keep: I'll certainly be reading it again before too long as I'm sure that there are sections which will read better the second - or third - time around. Kate Tough writes superbly: she's a poet as well as a novelist and this comes through in her writing. There isn't a wasted word. I'm looking forward to seeing what she writes next and I'd like to thank the publishers for making a copy available to Bookbag.
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Love this book from the opening pages Rhonda Beech stole my heart.Mourning the end of a long relationship navigating her days.Rhona is lonely lost she has wonderful supportive friends who are trying to help..Unhappy at work she applies for a new job every six months with no real heart to move on.This is a wonderfully written novel full of warmth real emotions we can all relate to.Highkybrecommend, #netgalley #littlebrownuk
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I really really loved this book. The main character is so lovable and I could relate to many of the things she was going through or felt. I laughed out loud at many parts of the book. This book has some really funny
Moments and some really poignant ones too. The author has done this perfectly. Splendidly written and brilliantly paced. Amazing x
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