Morning everyone. I’m back today on the blog tour of Homeward Bound by Richard Smith, and am delighted to bring you an extract. But first, here’s all the info on the book!
book blurb & Info
Homeward Bound features 79-year-old grandfather George, who didn’t quite make it as a rock star in the ‘60s. He’s expected to be in retirement but in truth he’s not ready to close the lid on his dreams and will do anything for a last chance. When he finds himself on a tour of retirement homes instead of a cream tea at the seaside his family has promised, it seems his story might prematurely be over.
He finds the answer by inviting Tara, his 18-year-old granddaughter, to share his house, along with his memories and vast collection of records. She is an aspiring musician as well, although her idea of music is not George’s. What unfolds are clashes and unlikely parallels between the generations – neither knows nor cares how to use a dishwasher – as they both chase their ambitions.
Published by: Matador on 2nd February 2020
Formats Available: Paperback & ebook
Chapter 5 – Bridget (George’s daughter) and her husband disagree over care homes for George.
Bridget was wondering whether George would ever get round to trying the phone, when Toby’s voice brought her back into the present.
“Look at the others, will you?” He was sounding impatient.
“Sorry, I was thinking. About Dad.” Bridget gathered the papers up again and skimmed through them. Words like ‘restful’, ‘peaceful’ and ‘tranquil’ seemed to appear in them all. She thought of her dad thumping out rock’n’roll on his piano late at night. “They all look like hospices. And look at this.” She held a page up to him and pointed at a line. “See?”
“It’s meant to say they are compliant with regulations. Except it doesn’t.” She prodded the paper again. “ Typo.”
Toby leaned forward and read where Bridget was indicating.
“Oh, I see. ‘Complaint’ not ‘compliant’.” He rolled his eyes, not amused.
“Please be serious.”
“I am serious. Maybe they’re more used to writing about complaints.”
“Anyway, that’s my shortlist, and unless you have any objections that aren’t based on GCSE English and proofreading…”
“Have you thought about how we’ll be able to a afford them?”
“His house. That’ll cover it.”
“He’ll never agree.”
“Uncle Joss? Do you really want to wait until it’s too late? So unless you have any objections, I’ll make appointments to see some of them.”
Bridget let out a reluctant sigh. She leafed through the pages printed from the internet.“ These don’t say where they are.”
“Look on the back.”
Bridget turned over one of the sheets and raised her eyebrows when she saw they’d been printed both sides. The home printer barely printed on one side, if at all. She’d been asking him to fix it for months. He’d obviously been planning this at work.
“Bradford? Leicester? Manchester? How will we visit him up there? And when are we supposed to have time to check them out to see if they’re any good?”
“I’ve got a work appointment in Leeds on Tuesday week. I told you.”
“I don’t think you did.”
“I don’t remember.”
“Anyway, it’ll work out well as I can recce them while I’m up there. I’ve a couple of days owing. Stay over. I’ll get it back on expenses.”
“Really?” Bridget narrowed her eyes and scrutinised her husband, looking for a glimmer of compassion or understanding of how she felt.
“And if there are any that are half decent, we can talk about what we do next.”
She looked again at the papers, hoping to find something positive.
“What are these – holiday reviews? The one in Leicester says, ‘Beautiful open areas and a bistro so you can chat and while away the hours in comfort and contentment. We offer a range of rooms and can accommodate couples if required.’”
“That’ll come in handy if the old boy strikes lucky.”
“Don’t make fun of my dad.”
Toby shrugged unapologetically. She slapped the papers down on the ironing board. “I’m not happy about any of this. And who’s Sonia?”
Bridget was looking at the back of the final sheet of paper. “This email to you with a list of homes. It says it’s from Sonia.”
“Oh, Sonia. No one. Sonia Hardcastle. She’s in Finance. A high- flyer by all accounts.”
Bridget didn’t react to his pun, intended or not. She wondered when she’d learnt this skill of not reacting to him. She didn’t used to. Was that control or complacency?
Toby continued. “She’s been really helpful finding places for us. She had to find a place for her dad, so she had all the contacts.”
“I’d rather my dad wasn’t the subject of office conversation. Thank her for her trouble, wasted as it is. I’ll finish the ironing tomorrow. I’m going to bed.”
about the author
Richard Smith is a writer and storyteller for sponsored films and commercials, with subjects as varied as caring for the elderly, teenage pregnancies, communities in the Niger delta, anti- drug campaigns and fighting organised crime. Their aim has been to make a positive difference, but, worryingly, two commercials he worked on featured in a British Library exhibition, ‘Propaganda’.
tour hosted by
Thanks to Rachel for inviting me on to the tour, and to Richard for sharing an extract.
Have a wonderful day lovelies
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