Runner-up Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize 2016
Selected title for the Read Regional campaign 2017
Walking the Lights
‘A feminist Withnail and I.’
‘It feels like an authentic – and suitably daft – evocation of that lost era of Blairite optimism and post-rave partying […] vivid and convincing. It’s got heart.’ The Guardian
‘A stunning debut novel…’ The Scots Magazine
‘As evocative of ’90s Britain as Mike Leigh’s Naked or an album by Pulp, and with the dark wit of both, Walking the Lights uses specifics to examine universal themes of family, friendship, self-worth and self-respect, and how all of these are connected in the most complicated manner. It is rare to see this relationship written about with such insight.’ Scots Whay Hae
Young actor Maddie lives the slacker life with her deadbeat boyfriend, Mike. Estranged from her mother due to a violent step-dad, most of the young couple’s meagre resources go on drink and drugs. But Maddie and some friends harbour hopes of putting on their own production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. As she moves from one low-paid jobbing acting role to another, and from the abusive relationship with Mike to talented actor Alex, can Maddie confront the past and find a way of living in the present?
Walking the Lights perfectly evokes 90s Britain and those living on the margins, whilst others prosper. This is a compelling story of one young woman learning the life of an actor, as she explores how to live life, negotiating the self-destructive temptations of young adulthood.
Praise for Walking the Lights:
‘Oh my, I love this first novel from Deborah Andrews. A story of quiet devastation, of a life half-lived, of lies told and truths uncovered. I laughed and cried in equal measures, I couldn’t stop reading, yet dreaded it ending. Honest, beautiful and visceral, Andrews’ prose catches your breath and snags the air around you. I can’t recommend it enough.’ Kate Dickie, actor (Lysa Arryn, Game of Thrones).
‘An intoxicating debut about the lives we reach for and the mistakes that floor us. Bubbly, beautifully precarious, authentic and heartfelt, Deborah Andrews’ writing glitters with empathy.’ Helen Sedgwick, author of The Comet Seekers.
‘Walking the Lights is an intensely affecting emotional journey. Searching for release in all the wrong places, Maddie’s descent into terrifying darkness is as heart-breaking as her struggle back towards the light is ultimately, radiantly life-affirming.’ Vicki Jarrett, author of Nothing is Heavy and The Way Out.
‘A beautifully and precisely rendered tale of a young woman coming to terms with her past. This finely crafted debut novel is a compelling read, both bleak and uplifting at the same time – quite an achievement.’ Pippa Goldschmidt, author of The Falling Sky and The Need for Better Regulation of Outer Space.
‘A thoughtful novel that will quietly but effectively get under your skin.’ Lothian Life
‘A finely crafted and captivating story of a young woman’s self-discovery and her struggles with the damaging temptations of young adulthood and an insightful painting of Glasgow in the 90s.’ Scottish Field