In When to Walk, Ramble’s husband has decided to leave her. He’s had enough. Ramble, who’s partially deaf, somewhat crippled and already pretty unstable, descends further into madness. She takes the reader on a journey of trying to make it in the world on her own.
The storyline was rambling; therefore, it was a bit hard to follow. However, I found it fascinating. I loved that she mentioned the man with the photocopied ten many times. [I’m sure there’s something symbolic there, but I didn’t catch what it was.] I just thought the event and the man were out-of-the ordinary. My favourite parts of the book were when Ramble offered up definitions or explained origins of words she encountered.
The main character, Ramble was so aptly named; she had a hard time sticking to one subject for very long. While she had trouble moving about herself, she mind was constantly on the go. Con, her husband, was also appropriately named. There are a number of other characters in the book, each appealing in their own right.
My favourite quotes (Oooops…I lost the pages references):
“If an English girl ever talks to you about squeezing her lemon, she means she’s got to have a pee.”
“Another good thing about crutches is that you can use them to whack aside junk mail.”
There was one other, but I can’t find it now in the book. It was about the advice Ramble’s mother gave her regarding leaving her husband and a bus. If I find it, I’ll come back and update this review.
All in all, I’d say this was an interesting and successful debut novel. I’d be willing to try another one by Gowers.