Walking Barefoot by Grace Coleman (2017)
Fiction | Science Fiction | (TV-14)
“Set in a futuristic London in a world ravaged by war, Walking Barefoot explores the life of Will, past and present. The cocksure eighteen year old who, in a bid to find himself, goes travelling and the city-living adult, who despite his well paid job, upper quadrant apartment and sexy girlfriend, struggles to be happy. When nightmares begin to haunt his sleeping and waking life Will is unsure whether he is suffering from the illness that killed his father or being led by unseen forces to uncover a city-wide conspiracy. As his paranoia heightens he must ask himself – is he willing to lose himself to find the truth?”
Expected Publication Date: April 25, 2017
pooled ink Review:
Thank you to the author for submitting this book for review!
The plot had me curious and as I turned each page I found myself growing more and more unsettled. It flicks between two different times, both focused on pivotal moments in Will’s life. It takes a little bit to settle into the story and feel oriented but just as you think you understand it everything begins to twist and sputter.
We follow Will as he begins to suffer from nightmares and hallucinations jarring his thoughts back to the year he took off to travel before settling into the corporate world. Confusing at first the plot is quick to seep with unease and Will begins to unravel as he desperately lashes out and chases down the truth of his father’s death. A conspiracy is quickly evident but its reasons, its scale, its masters, all of that is puzzled together piece by piece until the final chapter where Will shatters in the face of the truth.
He could have sedated his curiosity and maintained his comfortable life (wealth, career, girlfriend) but he is driven by a deep need to know the truth. The cost of this pursuit takes its toll too late for him to turn back.
What’s great is that despite the dystopian world constructed it’s very easy to feel the familiarity to our own world. Will’s frustrations particularly resonate with those old enough to be pacing through their career but young enough to remember the freedoms that came before the responsibilities. Different, strange, and yet relatable is this future London tale.
This book was a quick read and I enjoyed it. Walking Barefoot sent chills down my spine, spun my head like a top, and knocked me down the endless corridors of a maze as we stumble behind Will uncovering the dark truths of his world. I look forward to seeing where Grace Coleman will go in her literary pursuits.
To claim your free copy of Walking Barefoot simply visit Smashwords on April 25th (the day of the book’s release) and enter the discount code FR64E at check out. There are no limits to the number of downloads but hurry, this code will only be active for 24 hours!
Meet Grace Coleman!
Born in South Africa. Made in Sussex. After an uneventful upbringing I’ve found myself in London trying to make it in the unglamorous world of Television. Writing has always been a part of my life but discipline and distraction are an issue. My favourite authors are Stephen King, Neil Gaiman and Douglas Adams, although I don’t pretend to possess any of their wit, genius or heart. When not pretending to be an author or TV hotshot, I like country walks, visiting the zoo and sitting in pubs.
Q: So Grace, what inspired you to write this story? Or where did the ideas come from?
A: Will Balston walked into my life when I was au pairing in Byron bay 6 years ago. I had just spent four months in Thailand and now in the quiet of my basement granny flat (away from the not-so-quiet of four charming but demanding children) I witnessed him wake from beneath his crisp, cream sheets. He came to me as a fully formed character but his story was yet to be uncovered as I worked my way through his life. The setting for Walking Barefoot is fairly self-explanatory – I travelled after University for a year (a delaying tactic) and now live and work in London (a city of mixed blessings). The dystopian elements allowed me to push it further; to really explore what made Will tick and why he struggled to be happy. On some Freudian level it’s probably an essay on my own psyche, but on the surface it’s just a good story about a likeable but flawed man struggling to find his place in a world not so dissimilar to our own.
Thank you so much for inviting me to read your book and for taking the time to tell me a bit about where this book came from. It’s always interesting to hear where authors get their inspiration and how that evolves into the books we read.
Best of luck!