Good morning dear readers, I hope you are all well. I have another fantastic little treasure for you to discover today, The Wooden Hill By Jamie Guiney.
Happy Publication Day!
Grab yourself a copy here.
Thank you to the lovely people at Epoque Press for sending me a copy to review. Check them out here. Your next exciting read is awaiting you.
About The Author
Jamie Guiney is a writer from County Armagh, Northern Ireland. His short stories have been published internationally and he has been nominated twice for the ‘The Pushcart Prize’.
Jamie is a graduate of the Faber & Faber Writing Academy and has twice been a judge for short story competition ‘The New Rose Prize.’ His work has been backed by the Northern Ireland Arts Council through several Individual Artist Awards and he has also been chosen by Lagan Online as one of their New Original Writers.
The Wooden Hill By Jamie Guiney
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 Wooden Hill is a section of short stories told in three parts. The stories tell the process of life; birth, growing up, and finally death. We are all slowly climbing the steps up the wooden hill, the metaphor of life till we reach the top and that hill becomes our final resting place. With each step we face a new challenge, steeper than the last. It’s how we choose to conquer these hurdles that shape us into the people we are today. Guiney holds up a mirror to the reader and is not afraid to show us the cold harsh reality of the world we inhabit. I am always fascinated by human behaviour and these short stories were truly enjoyable to read.
“It is like winter has crawled inside me and decided to rest out the other three seasons until its time has once again come around to prosper.”
I felt a warm sense of comfort as I was reading The Wooden Hill. It brought back my own nostalgia of my childhood like going to the sweet shop with friends and hanging out on a bored Saturday afternoon. Guiney’s writing gets in your head and invokes the readers memories. It’s a interesting place to be when you start reminiscing your own life while reading a book. An experience I would highly recommend and encourage. It forces the reader to look at their own lives with the decisions and mistakes they’ve made. The whole process of learning and experiencing life as they have up until the present day. A clever skill to entwine within a story and used effectively throughout. I approve and applaud it: highly.
“A cloud passes by faster than it should. It is gold trimmed, an expensive one. Now it is gone and my world is still again.”
There is a dominant theme of honest, brutal truth in The Wooden Hill. The reality of life and the world we live in. For example in Summer Stones a little girl works hard everyday to look after her pebbles only for her grandfather to come along and throw them away. All that love and hard work she has poured into her precious pebbles is destroyed in a second by the cruel hand of fate. A truth that we all know too well happens in life. You work hard only to have it all crumble to ash in front of you. Guiney tells the story in such a beautiful innocent way that makes the reader realise that life is a fragile vulnerable thing that can smash to pieces in a heartbeat. Hold tightly onto those you love and never let anyone disregard them to the winds.
“She will try to recreate her perfection, but summer will soon be gone too.”
Guiney has a natural way with words and can imprint tranquil images into the reader’s head. He draws upon the scenes and pure beauty of the world which intrigues the reader and guides us willing through each story. You can almost taste the air the characters are breathing, the reader is fully immersed in each story. Each one intensifying after the next till they reach the end and come full circle of a human life. It’s strong storytelling at its best and leaves the reader fully satisfied with their eye-opening journey.
“He stopped by a field-gate to stretch, bending towards rain droplets that hung from the horizontal metal bars like a thousand tiny eyes.”
I give The Wooden Hill By Jamie Guiney a Four out of Five paw rating.
A fantastic selection of stories that will make you laugh, reminisce and cry with such joy that will encourage you to take a look at your own life and the direction you are heading. Are you still crawling around aimlessly at the bottom or are you ascending to the top, knowing that the life you leave behind is the life you chose to live. Full of love, mistakes, hardship and wonder. If you could, would you do it all again the same? What memories and life lessons will The Wooden Hill invoke for you. Find out, grab a copy here and treat yourself to an early Christmas present. Enjoy dear reader.
Buy The Wooden Hill By Jamie Guiney https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wooden-Hill-Jamie-Guiney/dp/1999896041
Jamie Guiney Website
Epoque Press Website
Hop hop wiggle wiggle.