Freight Books Freight Books
Walking the Lights by Deborah Andrews

Format: paperback, B format, 198 x 129mm, 272pp

ISBN Code: 978-1-910449-88-2
Deborah Andrews

Deborah is an award-winning theatre practitioner turned novelist. Most notably her theatrical adaptation of Dream State: The New Scottish Poets won a Scotsman Fringe First Award; she established the first year-round Deaf Youth Theatre in the UK; and she co-founded Solar Bear theatre company (of which she was Artistic Director 2002-09).

Read more about the author

Walking the Lights

by Deborah Andrews


Shortlisted for Guardian Not the Booker Prize

Recently graduated, young actor Maddie lives the slacker life in mid-90s Glasgow with 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. Maddie and some friends harbour hopes of putting on their own production of The Tempest. As she moves from one low-paid jobbing acting role to another, and from the abusive relationship with Mike to talented artist 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 study 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

‘It feels like an authentic – and suitably daft – evocation of that lost era of Blairite optimism and post-rave partying […] vivid and convincing.’ Guardian

‘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’s prose catches your breath and snags the air around you. I can’t recommend it enough.’ Kate Dickie, actor, Game of Thrones

‘A stunning debut novel from a former theatre director.’ Scots Magazine

‘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

‘As evocative of ’90s Britain as Mike Leigh’s Naked or an album by Pulp, and with the dark with 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!

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

‘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

‘…it was the small touches that made the book stand out.’ wellwrittentooshort

‘A thoughtful novel that will quietly but effectively get under your skin.’ Lothian Life