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Footsteps [Kindle Edition]

Katharine McMahon
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Product Description


From the reviews:

‘Footsteps is put together with intelligence and feeling, a grasp of narrative pace and an empathy for the weather-buffetted Suffolk coast. She succeeds in suggesting the complexity, waywardness and inexplicable patches that constitute life. A good read.’
Elizabeth Buchan, The Times

‘Irreducibly delicate and tough-minded. I strongly suggest you read it and that someone gets a television script out of it.’

Book Description

The secrets and tragedies of a family's past, and the far-reaching effects on succeeding generations of women...

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 525 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix (8 Jan 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002U3CCVA
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #25,795 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Katharine McMahon is the author of 8 novels, including the bestselling The Rose of Sebastopol, which was a Richard and Judy pick for 2007. She's always combined writing with some form of teaching - English and Drama in secondary schools, mentoring through the Arts Council Escalator scheme, or as a fellow of the Royal Literary Fund, supporting students in their writing. Her great love, beyond writing books, is the stage - both as a member of the audience and performing in her local theatre. She lives with her family in Hertfordshire.

Visit Katharine's official website at
She also has a blog at
Find Katharine McMahon on twitter @McKatharine

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY MOVING AND COMPELLING READ 2 July 2009
I am stunned by this book. I got so engrossed in the story of Ruth and Helen, that I just wanted my journey to work and home again to be extended and very nearly went past my stop on a few occasions.

I really like the style in which Katherine McMahon writes. She writes clearly, drawing the reader quickly and deeply into her characters. I feel I have lived with Ruth and the Mayrick family at Westwich for the past few weeks and have cried alongside Helen in her sad bereavement and all that follows. The descriptions of people, places and situations are just superb. I especially like the way the author alternates between past and present and Katherine makes it quite clear whom we are following

To sum up: Footsteps is a beautiful, emotional and poignant love story which will not disappoint Katherine McMahon's readers. I count her now as one of my favourite authors and intend to read all her books. I am passing Footsteps onto my daughter so that she too may envelope herself in this beautiful story.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Footsteps sees McMahon on top form again. 28 May 2009
I'm a great fan of McMahon's other novels: The Alchemist's Daughter and The Rose of Sebastopol, so it came as a great delight that I loved this one too. It made it even more special that it's set near to where I live, McMahon has successfully captured what it's like to live on the wild windswept East Anglian coast.

Set in two different time periods: the Edwardian past and the near present, the novel explores the connection between two families and the repercussions of love and loss in both time frames. The novel is beautifully written, especially the Edwardian parts, and gives you a real sense of time and place.

After reading the novel, at a fast pace (plenty of night time reads that left me puffy-eyed in the morning!), my first instinct was to re-read it in order to make more connections between the two plots. It made me think that the past has the power to shape our futures more than we realise.

I can't wait for her next novel. McMahon is a modern Anya Seton.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and evocative novel 26 Feb 2009
I was given this novel as a recommendation, and I'm so glad I was! It is the most enchanting, beautiful novel I've read for awhile. Wonderfully written, it tells the story of Helena Mayrick close to the present day, trying to overcome tragedy and embarking reluctantly at first on writing a book about her relation Donaldson, who was a famous photographer, and of her Grandmother Ruth Styles in the early part of the twentieth century, with a chapter alternately set in the present and then the past throughout the book.

Ruth Styles is the lynchpin to the whole novel and the most intriguing and devastating character, to whom all else somehow relates. She grows up by the sea in Suffolk, in a small village, and it is this place which shapes much of the lives of those involved. Young Ruth is intelligent, bright, and sparky, and has a profound and lasting effect on many around her, most noteably on Donaldson, the photographer who comes to Westwich and so begins his lifelong fascination with Ruth. As a reader, I was intensely curious and compelled to read on and find out what would happen to her, and so much does!

There is a marvelous sense of place within the novel, and it is clear the bearing the proximity of the sea has on several of the characters. The book is about the repercussions of the past; about love, forbidden love, lost love, unfulfilled love; it is about the draw of a particular landscape and how it can free or restrict a person, and it is about choices and fulfillment of potential, especially for women, which is a key theme of this author.
Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but slow 29 Feb 2012
I have read Katherine Mcmahons The Alchemists Daughter and would consider it one of my favourite reads, so i was a bit disappointed by footsteps. I found I was forcing myself to read on (I never start a book and not finish!) I am a fan of novels that jump from past to present and I think Katherine did this quite well, although there was no excitement or cliff hangers to rush u to the next part. I found it all abit predictable and such an anti climax at the end. I am now left wondering what was the point in some of the topics as they never materialised into anything! I usually think about stories long after I've read them and wish they had never ended but I'm glad this one did. Now onto the next one :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Footsteps - plodding footsteps 17 July 2011
By Janie
I bought this book on the strength of my enjoyment of The Rose of Sebastopol and The Alchemist's Daughter but was very disappointed in it. Somehow or other it did not live up to the quicker pace of the other two books and so I have renamed it Plodding Footsteps. For me, it did not start to liven up until the death of Julia,the mother of the main character, Ruth Styles in the "Past" part. Ruth was free at last of nursing her mother with her mysterious illness and with the proceeds of the sale of the house she was an independent woman. I would really have liked to have known what she did in India and some details about her early death there and her feelings about leaving her very young child with an old family friend.

While it is fashionable to write "Past" and "Present" plots side by side nowadays, I felt that the author switched the reader too quickly between them at the beginning. No sooner had I begun to grasp the family members of one when I was whisked away to another set of people and another age and had to keep referring back to the front of the book where there were the lists of the "past" and "Present" persons. I would have preferred the information about the different generations of the families clearly set out in "Family Tree" format.

By the time Julia's mother died, the story started to move along a bit faster, and slowly but surely some answers were forthcoming at last. But did we have to wait so long?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars not yet read
this book arrived quickly and is in excellent condition; I look forward to reading it and am fairly confident the 5 star rating will be appropriate!
Published 6 months ago by Joan Macadie
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting story
Liked this book but it was depressing in some parts and I wanted it to move along a bit more.
Published 16 months ago by Babs
4.0 out of 5 stars Capturing the Past
Katharine McMahon has largely made her name with straightforward historical novels. However, her second and third novels experimented with dual time - a woman in the present... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Kate Hopkins
5.0 out of 5 stars footsteps
as with other Katherine McMahon book this was for my neighbour. she was pleased to receive book very quick, thankyou
Published 18 months ago by angela beckley
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
This is the story of two families and their lives in the present day and the past. Unrequited love, unfaltering loyalty and the complicated relationships of family members are the... Read more
Published on 20 July 2011 by Rebecca
3.0 out of 5 stars readable but disappointing
I chose this book as the synopsis described a good idea for a story and the cover fitted with this mental image I had for the characters. Read more
Published on 14 May 2011 by Lu
1.0 out of 5 stars geneology wrong
If Joanna was Giles and Ruths child page 300 then James was not Joannas half brother but her uncle. If Michael is Simons grandson (front chart) then he is not his son page 303. Read more
Published on 18 April 2011 by linda
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
I enjoyed this book but did find it hard-going and rather slow at times. Saying that the story is well written and compelling in places. Read more
Published on 9 Mar 2011 by J. Leckie
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful
This story is told in two different time periods and so very well done. Both era's are depicted so very well. Read more
Published on 24 Nov 2010 by C. Bannister
5.0 out of 5 stars Footsteps
A wonderfully detailed book of historical fiction. Katherin McMahon writes beautifully in an easy to read style and really draws the reader into her stories, which are well... Read more
Published on 13 Sep 2010 by Wendyw
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