Kezia and Rosie ~ Rebecca Burns


When sisters Kezia and Rosie arrive at their grandparents’ house in the summer of 1986 they aren’t sure when they’ll see their Mum and Dad again. 

While her younger sister Rosie is content playing on the allotment gate and having picnics in the garden, Kezia begins to realise that things aren’t quite what they seem. While embraced in Granddad and Grandma’s loving care, it’s not long before seven-year old Kezia begins to notice strange looks between them, hushed whispers, and secret phone calls. She realises she must step into the frightening adult world if she is to make sense of her parent’s troubled marriage.   

Written in beautifully delicate prose, Rebecca Burns’ collection of linked short stories explores how a child learns to navigate new familial territory, the heartache of uncertainty, and a growing understanding of what, exactly, real love means. 

Rebecca Burns is an award-winning writer of short stories. Her story collections, Catching the Barramundi (2012) and The Settling Earth (2014) were both longlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Award. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2011 and 2020, winner of the Fowey Festival of Words and Music Short Story Competition in 2013 (and runner-up in 2014), winner of the Black Pear Press Short Story Competition in 2014 and, in 2016, was listed for competitions including the Evesham Festival of Words and Music, the Chipping Norton Festival, the Sunderland Short Story Award, and the Green Lady Press Short Story Award. She has also been profiled as part of the University of Leicester’s Grassroutes Project that showcases the 50 best transcultural writers in the county.

Her debut novel, The Bishop’s Girl, was published by Odyssey Books in September 2016, followed by a third short story collection, Artefacts and Other Stories (2017), a sequel novel to The Settling Earth, called Beyond the Bay, was published in 2018. Her first novella, Quilaq, was published by Next Chapter in 2020.

Her website is at, and you can follow her on Twitter at @Bekki66 and on Facebook at Rebecca Burns.

Further reading

Read: Fishman, Fictive Dream

Review: Kezia and Rosie, What Cathy Read Next

Prompt: Think back to your grandparents’ house. What was it like? Describe a particular room that springs to mind. Now pepper in some detail. Perhaps something your grandparents did or said. Write freely for 10 mins.

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