Walking Apart

Could you take separate paths when you’ve walked half a lifetime together?

Set in Lancashire’s beautiful Ribble Valley, Walking Apart explores a couple’s complex relationship as they plan for retirement.


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It’s been a strong marriage, a successful one. But David and Helen are struggling to see the opposing point of view.

She knew that if she reached out to touch him it would be all right. He would hug her, she would probably break down and cry with exhaustion. After, they would talk, apologise, she would get her glass of wine, they would both go to bed and hold each other before they slept. But something inside Helen, something screwed up and tight, stopped her reaching out to her husband.

‘I don’t think you’ve ever realised what my job’s like,’ she said. ‘I have to put in hours and hours to keep my head above water, and now there are the other schools I support, the travelling about, the conferences. There are so many things that need to be done thoroughly I can’t always delegate. It would have helped if you could have understood that a bit more.’

If he hadn’t been so tired, David could have lost his temper. To think she had brought herself to this through her own stubbornness, had carried on knowing it was hurting them, unable to give in and admit she was ill. She’d put her pride, her bloody-mindedness, her need to do it all single-mindedly or else lose face, before everything else that mattered.

A short extract



It's actually a love story

Walking Apart

I highly recommend this novel. As a retired teacher, I can identify with the content of the book concerning education today, but just as intriguing is the human story intertwined in it of a long-standing relationship in which the couple involved are “Walking apart”. I can guarantee you will be turning the pages of the book until the last chapter wondering how this story will end for the people involved.
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It's a story of love, stress, health and life-changing decisions. A captivating read from primary teacher Catherine Finch.
Les Parkyn, Teacher Magazine

Catherine Finch

Catherine Finch is a novelist, and runner-up of the Bath Story Award 2017.

During my 30 years in teaching, I loved to write stories, plays and musicals for
children. My audience was enthusiastic and unfailingly appreciative. Unfortunately, as a headteacher, I was also required to write long, tedious documents for school inspectors. I don’t remember quite the same enthusiasm or thanks when I produced these works of fiction.

Although reluctant to leave the village school where I was headteacher for 11 years, I was delighted to find space in my life for some real writing.

I share my time between Lancashire and South West France, taking inspiration from both of these beautiful areas. Long walks give me the space to reflect, to absorb a new setting and to chat with my characters – yes, they talk to me and sometimes dispute what I have in store for them!

I am pleased to have been shortlisted and placed in a number of competitions, including Flash 500, TSS and the Bath Short Story Award 2017.

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