Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Rachael English - Going Back Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Going Back
By Rachael English

Published by Orion 
Published date: 22nd May 2014


A wonderfully nostalgic tale from one of Ireland’s best-known voices

In the summer of 1988, Elizabeth Kelly and her friends leave recession-hit Ireland for a summer of adventure and opportunity in Boston. The next four months change all of them, especially Elizabeth. Quiet and dutiful at home, she surprises herself and everyone else by falling for Danny Esposito, a restless charmer with a troublesome family.

More than twenty years later with opportunities in Ireland scarce once again, a new generation looks to America, awakening memories of a golden summer for their parents. When a crisis occurs, Elizabeth returns to Boston where she is drawn back into the life she once lived. But will she be able to reconcile the dreams of her twenty-year-old self with the woman she has become?

Going Back is a story of family, friendships and love, of difficult decisions and lifelong consequences.


RACHAEL ENGLISH is a presenter on Ireland's most popular radio show, Morning Ireland. During more than twenty years as a journalist, she has worked on most of RTE Radio's leading current affairs programmes, covering a huge range of national and international stories. Going Back is her first novel and was inspired by her own experiences of visiting Boston as a student in 1988. Her new novel Each and Every One is published by Orion in September 2014.

GOING BACK was shortlisted for the Newcomer of the Year in the Irish Book Awards 2013.

Guest Post:

The Inspiration for Going Back

‘Elizabeth wanted to experience America. Not that she harboured any fanciful notions about seeing the Grand Canyon or Las Vegas or New Orleans. What she enjoyed were the small differences: groceries in brown paper bags and big traffic lights, steam rising up through pavement gratings and women wearing runners with business suits.’

Say ‘J1’ to anybody in Ireland and, I guarantee you, they’ll reply ‘summer in America’. Most likely they’ll then regale you stories of the amazing time they had in New York, Chicago or San Francisco. Usually these tales will involve twenty-five people living in a one room apartment, the making and spending of large sums of money and a lot of wild partying. It’s also inevitable that somebody in the apartment will have had their heart broken by an American.

I should explain: a J1 is a type of visa that allows young people to spend time living and working in the United States. And while it’s a programme that’s also open to British students, for some reason they’ve never taken to it with quite the same enthusiasm as the Irish. For Irish students, a J1 is a rite of passage. Even if you don’t go to America, you’ll still have to spend your college years listening to other people’s stories about their summer of excess.

Three or four years ago, I went for a drink with some old college friends. After a couple of hours, the conversation turned to the summer we spent working in Boston. This was back in 1988 when Ireland could be a pretty grey place and when going to America felt as exotic as going to Mars.

A few months previously, one of the group had had the opportunity to return to Boston. Superficially, he said, a lot had changed. The diner where we ate most of our meals was now a McDonald’s. The dive bar where we drank was long since closed. Despite this, he was taken aback by how familiar the city felt. Without the help of a map, he found our old apartment. Even the smell of the underground was instantly recognisable.

I began to think about how we remember people and places. Anybody returning to a city where they spent several eventful months would find memories being rekindled. But what if you had never stopped thinking about the significance of that time? What if you still wondered about the people you left behind? And what if you went a step further and decided to track them down?

Going Back tells the story of five young Irish people who go to Boston in 1988. One of

them, Elizabeth Kelly, has a summer she will never forget. More than twenty years later, a crisis forces her to return to the city. She finds herself being drawn back into the life she once lived. But can she reconcile the dreams of her twenty-year-old self with the woman she has become?

“An impressive debut from a skilled novelist who brings a breath of fresh air to the Irish
publishing world. English is certainly a force to be reckoned with and may prove to be as
formidable a player in the books market as she is in the broadcasting world”

“A thoroughly enjoyable novel about being young and in love and about life coming full
circle. Rachael English paints a vivid portrait of what it was to be Irish in America in the
nineteen eighties and what it is to be Irish now. Witty and perceptive, she has a voice that is
all her own” Kathleen MacMahon 

“An impressive debut” IRISH WORLD 

“A distinctive new voice in a clever, nuanced debut.” IRISH SUNDAY INDEPENDENT 

“Anyone who has wondered what life might have been like if they'd stayed together with a
summer love will be charmed by [Rachael English's] warm, heartfelt debut novel.”

“Hugely romantic and readable.” IRISH EXAMINER 

“Assured and warm-hearted.” MAIL ON SUNDAY (Ireland) 

“English is a great writer and this is a fantastic debut” HOT PRESS


My Friends over at Orion have kindly given me 3 copied of the book to host as a giveaway, this is for UK only - sorry international guys. Keep checking back though as there will be an international giveaway up in the near future! To be in the chance of winning all you have to do is enter below in the rafflecopter. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tomorrow stop by at shazsbookboudoir