A determined octogenarian takes a walk of 2000 miles in order to see the ocean for the very first time in Etta and Otto and Russell and James.
Eighty two year old Etta has never seen the ocean. So early one morning she takes a rifle, some chocolate, and her best boots, and begins walking the 2,000 miles from Saskatchewan, rural Canada, eastward to the coast. This is the premise for Etta and Otto and Russell and James, Emma Hooper’s beautifully written debut novel. Etta’s husband Otto understands but with Etta gone, memories come crowding in and Otto struggles to keep them at bay. The third character from the title of the novel is Russell, who still loves Etta as much as he did more than fifty years ago, before she married Otto.
Emma divides her time between a number of artistic and academic endeavours that feed and inspire each other. As a musician, her solo project Waitress for the Bees tours internationally and has earned her a Finnish Cultural Knighthood. She is a research-lecturer at Bath Spa University and as an author, she has published short stories, non-fiction pieces, poetry and libretti as well as a number of academic papers.
Emma’s first novel is a story of pilgrimage, of fulfilling lifelong promises, of memory and longing, and of unlikely heroes.