Living Underground, a novel

Semi-finalist in the Chapters|Robertson Davies Manuscript Competition


“Ruth Walker reveals the inner lives of her characters with a quiet and purposeful grace. An impressive debut.”

– Rabindranath Maharaj, author of The Amazing Absorbing Boy, winner of the Trillium Award and Toronto Book Award.



Trade Paperback. Seraphim Editions (September 2012), 288 pages, ISBN-13: 9781927079089 ISBN-10: 192707908X Available directly through Seraphim, or through Ben McNally Books, Blue Heron Books, ChaptersIndigo,,,, or try IndieBound to find a bookseller near you.

Kindle E-book Edition. Seraphim Editions (January 2013). ASIN: B00B4YT5DY Available from Seraphim or Amazon.

Watch the book trailer . . .

About the book . . .

“Sheila Martin’s dismal childhood is irrevocably transformed when Sigmund Maier, the family’s enigmatic German tenant, introduces her to opera, music and much more. When he reappears in her ordered and successful adult life, Sigmund asks for her help with an immigration issue. Will she now discover the truth of why he vanished years ago?

Sheila soon discovers that “truth” has no clear definition and memories are nebulous as she is drawn into the turmoil and accusations surrounding his life before and during World War II. As she struggles with her own issues and family conflicts, she is forced to finally confront the secrets she has held for over 30 years.

Moving back and forth in time, this novel explores the ambiguity of human emotion – how our natures can embody both the ideals and delights of love alongside the most base and dispassionate sensibilities.” – Seraphim Editions

Reviews . . .

“This debut and highly anticipated novel…is a touching human story that exposes how people we meet, even those briefly, can have a big impact on us by enlightening our thinking and very being. …A pure pleasure to read!” – Pauline Kiely, The Standard

“From the moment you pick up Living Underground, you will be enthralled … A book like this comes along every once in a blue moon.” – Kevin Craig, Try This Book On For Size

Living Underground is a wonderful and yet heartbreaking novel. Its characters are full of depth, and the emotional anguish they experience is palpable. It is impossible not to carry the story around with you in your head after you have finished.” – Laura Hamilton, More2Life4Women

To see how far afield Living Underground has already travelled, click here.

Book Club Visits . . .

If you belong to a book club reading Living Underground, invite Ruth to visit! To date, she has appeared as guest author in various Canadian and American locations. She will travel considerable distances to attend in person, and is also happy to connect by telephone, email, or Skype, for virtual visits and discussions. Inquire here.

Media . . .

Download the official press release for Living Underground.

“This book really is hot off the presses!” Read Christy Chase’s September 20 article, in anticipation of the release of Living Underground.

Listen to Ruth talk with Catherine Sword on “Shelf Life” on WhiStle Radio (Part 1, Part 2).

Listen to Ruth discuss writing with host Bernadette Rule on “Art Waves” on Mohawk Radio.

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