Well hello there, go grab a cuppa and let me tell you about ‘The Wooden Hill’ by Jamie Guiney. Jamie currently resides in Northern Ireland, he’s a graduate from the Faber & Ffaber writing academy and has twice been the judge for the short story competition that is ‘The New Rose Prize’, as well as having his own short stories published internationally. Jamie has been nominated twice for ‘The Pushcart Prize’ which is an American literary prize for the best poetry, short fiction and essays.
I’d like to thank the publishers Époque Press for gifted a number of copies of this short story collection to Swansea Waterstones Bloggers Collective last month. If you’re anything like me, a short story collection is a lovely welcoming read especially after the intensity of a dark fantasy or even a horror! The Wooden Hill did not disappoint my expectations, it’s a collection I will read over and over again!
‘The Wooden Hill’ was published on the 30th November 2018 and is available in paperback. This 176 page beauty counted as my #BloggersBookshelf prompt this month; read a book under 200 pages. I feel like I cheated the system because I got to read 18 stories instead of one story at 200 pages or less…. who is a winner here?!
So, may I introduce you lovelies to the blurb:
“As we climb the wooden hill to bed each night we trace our life’s journey from birth, then each step toward death, the final sleep. This collection of short stories, by Jamie Guiney, explores what it is to be human at every stage of life, from the imminence of a new birth in `We Knew You Before You Were Born’, through to adolescence and the camaraderie of youthful friendships as portrayed in `Sam Watson & The Penny World Cup’. Ultimately, all of our lives stride towards old age and the certainty of death, as poignantly evoked in the title story, `The Wooden Hill'”
The book does exactly what it says on the tin, or blurb, 18 short stories are split between three parts; birth / childhood, adulthood and death. The collection begins with ‘We Knew You Before You Were Born’ that tells the story of the bond between parents and unborn child, as a mother myself I think this was one of the stories that touched my heart the most. Before I read the acknowledgements, I knew that only a parent could write such a spot on description of pregnancy; low and behold the story was revolved around the pregnancy and birth of Jamie and his wife’s daughter Scout. Beautiful! The collection then end with ‘The Wooden Hill’, is a heart-breaking read, and as with the rest of the book Jamie has bared his heart and soul on a literary platter for us.
‘The Wooden Hill’ takes the readers on a multitude of experiences through a lifetime, some will have you smiling, whereas other will break your heart into so many little pieces. The theme woven into the narrative is human experiences, from the birth of a child, to falling in love and the excitement of Christmas.
This is a short story collection that i’d recommend to those who like to dip in and out of a read without the prolonged commitment! It’s such a lovely read; a chapter before bed, maybe a read in the bath etc. I loved it and I’m so grateful to have received a copy to read! Thank you Époque Press again for this terrific read.
Have you read The Wooden Hill? What were your thoughts? Do you have a favourite story, and why is it your favourite? Let me know! Oh, and here‘s the purchasing link for those who haven’t read it but would love to! Enjoy!