If Only They Could Talk written by Ian Walker, publisher Clink Street Publishing, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.
Miles Goodyear’s whole life has been planned out for him. Born into a wealthy brewing family in Chesterfield between the wars, he knows he will go to the local grammar school, followed by St John’s College, Oxford. After graduating, he will then follow his older brother into the family business where he will remain until the next generation eventually takes over when he retires.
But life – and a series of bad decisions – go against him and, as a result, things turn out very differently from what was originally planned.
If Only They Could Talk is the story of one man’s reflection on his life, his failed relationships, his regrets and his dashed hopes. It’s about someone born with so much, who loses everything as he struggles to cope with a changing world. Or at least that’s what his relatives are led to believe as they clear out his house following his death.
Gradually, the house reveals its secrets, but nothing his relatives find there can prepare them for the final twist to Miles’s story.
I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes
I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Ian Walker’s debut novel: If Only They Could Talk.
I was initially drawn to this novel as the story is set in Chesterfield, Derbyshire which is not far from where I live. The author of this debut novel is also from Chesterfield so I wanted to support and help promote a new author from Derbyshire. I have to add before the publicist contacted me about the book I had never heard of the author so as always I’m reading and reviewing with an open mind.
The storyline is very apt for me as sadly I’m going through the emotive process of a house clearance following the death of a loved one. I was so enamoured by the Goodyear family and of young Miles that I became absorbed in his life and left my own behind.
Miles Goodyear was the fourth generation in the Goodyear family who were founders of the Goodyear Brewery. Miles knew from a young age that his brother and himself would follow the footsteps of their fathers and join the company. However, life had different plans for them all.
Many years later Miles’ nephew, Nigel, has the sad task of clearing his Uncle Miles house following his death and room by room he discovers much memorabilia from his Uncle’s past and that of the brewery.
If Only They Could Talk is a great debut from Ian Walker writing about inspiration from his life and the historic town of Chesterfield. I really enjoyed the timeslip element of the storyline and found myself looking forward to being transported back in time with Miles.
If Only They Could Talk was sad and poignant at times but laced with elements of fun, laughter and a little bit saucy in places. I’m finding myself wishing that memorabilia of life could have the magic ability to talk.
About the Author
Ian Walker was born in Chesterfield in 1956. His father was chief clerk for a brewery in the town and his mother was a ballet teacher. He went to Chesterfield School before gaining a place at Leicester University where he studied Chemistry and Maths. After graduating he got a job working in the laboratory at Truman’s Brewery in Brick Lane London. The following year he transferred to Watney’s Brewery in Mortlake, where he moved into the sales department 18 months later.
A variety of sales rolls then followed until eventually he ended up as Regional Sales Director for Scottish and Newcastle in the West Country based in Bristol. All this came to an end in 2006 when aged just 50 he suffered a stroke and had to give up work. After 12 months of physiotherapy he felt sufficiently recovered to buy a pub in the North York Moors along with his wife Eunice.
In the eight years that they owned it they achieved listings in both The Good Beer Guide and the Good Pub Guide. They also were in The Times the list of the top 50 places to eat in the British Countryside.
In 2016 he decided to retire and move back to Chesterfield where he hadn’t lived for 40 years. He and his wife now live just around the corner from the house where he grew up. He has two grown up sons by his previous marriage.