Watching From The Wings by Christine Webber | Book Reviews | General Fiction
Watching From The Wings by Christine Webber

By Mairéad Hearne (Swirl and Thread)

Watching From The Wings by Christine Webber

Watching From The Wings by Christine Webber is described as ‘a heart-warming tale of a woman finding her real self in her sixties.’ Set in the world of acting, as the name suggests, this is a story about a woman who turned her back on her own career in favour of her husband’s, and now forty years later wonders – what was it all for?

Katharine Boyd was swept away by attractive and charming fellow thespian, Nicholas Pilkington, while both were involved in the same seasonal residency in a theatre at Broadburgh-on-Sea. Katharine’s mother, Moira Tresswell, had been ‘the darling of the British film industry’ but their relationship was fragmented. Katharine had grown up in the shadow of her mother but this new residency was an opportunity, a stepping-stone to move away from her mother’s influence and to be a star in her own right. Moira Tresswell was a flamboyant and charismatic character, always looking for the spotlight. Suddenly unable to cope with her flagging career and her broken marriage to Katharine’s father, she pushed herself back into Katharine’s world unannounced and unwelcome.

Nicholas was clearly in awe of her mother yet Katharine was swayed by his charm and compliments, quite unable to believe that someone like Nicholas Pilkington could be interested in her at all. Katharine made some drastic and life-changing decisions, choosing to stand beside Nicholas and to be his support, managing his career and helping him achieve huge notoriety as an actor. But Katharine lost some of herself along the way and now, forty years later, she is re-evaluating her marriage, her relationship and everything she has sacrificed over the years. Did she choose the wrong door all those years ago? Did she give up too much to be with this now brash and selfish man?

Watching From The Wings is the tale of a woman in her sixties considering the possibility of a new beginning. All her life Katharine Boyd remained in the background, giving over her life to Nicolas Pilkington. Her dearest friend Cleo had always been sceptical of Nicholas, seeing him as a selfish individual who sucked the life out of Katharine over the years, always taking, taking, taking but she has always remained a true confidant for Katharine. Katharine made a decision to move house, one that Nicolas had supported, but now circumstances have changed and Katharine is unsure of what to do. An fortuitous moment offers an unexpected opportunity for Katharine but does she have the nerve to step out of the wings and into the spotlight? Has she left it too late?

Christine Webber has personally experienced the world of stage and television. Starting off with a brief sojourn as part of a Summer Theatre season in Suffolk her career path led her to a role as a news presenter for Anglia Television for twelve years. She crossed paths with many actors and showbiz personalities, giving her a wonderful insight and first-hand experience of a perpetually busy and frenetic landscape. Christine Webber made an active decision to write books that she herself would want to read, with her target audience being of a mature variety. In an interview with Sophie Grenham in The Gloss magazine Christine stated that ‘I came to believe that novels where the main characters were vibrant, innovative, full of zest for life and over fifty were in short supply, so she decided to write them herself. Christine had written numerous non-fiction books from her perspective as a trained psychotherapist but shifted to fiction in 2016 when she realised the gap in the market for fiction with a more mature appeal. Christine is also behind a number of podcasts and writes a fortnightly column for East Anglian newspapers, all focusing on positive ageing.

Watching From The Wings by Christine WebberWatching From The Wings is a charming story about second chances and the realisation of opportunities missed. It’s the story of a personal journey with an uplifting message giving hope to us all as we reach new decades in life (and more grey hairs start to appear!). Christine Webber is an inspirational individual. She has been through challenging times in recent years but she just never gives up. A force to be reckoned with, Christine Webber is a role model for positive ageing, a truly amazing woman.

(c) Mairéad Hearne (Swirl and Thread)

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