Life is incredibly short when you think about it. You are born, go to nursery, school, possibly college or university and before you know it, you’re married with kids working double hours just to pay the mortgage. And then BANG your skin is wrinkled and you no longer recognise your own face in the mirror. You struggle to recognise anyone in fact and begin to wonder where you are, who are all these people smelling of wee and death. Then one day you don’t wake up, everything fades to black and you are left in an eternal sleep. But that’s life, here one day gone the next…
Today on the blog I am reviewing A Beautiful Place To Die (Independently published October 24, 2018) By Samuel Bigglesworth. A big thank you to the author for sending me a copy to review. Always appreciated. Reading is life and you can never, ever have too many books. Anyone who tells you otherwise is obviously a monster. Let’s begin shall we dear reader, grab a cuppa and get yourself cosy for a charming book that opens your eyes to all the little things we take for granted in life.
A Beautiful Place To Die
A pensioner with advancing cancer is kicked out of her home with her dog. She doesn’t want to die on the filthy city streets so sets about finding a more beautiful place to rest her head.
A lady sick of seeing people act coldly decides to help a man on the street. She later finds out he escaped from prison only twenty-four hours before.
A Beautiful Place to Die is a heart-warming short story collection that will make you laugh and cry. Plunging you into the minds of outsiders of all stripes, from nine to ninety year-olds, and from settings as diverse as derelict warehouses and wild woodland, these stories highlight the beauty buried in the most unlikely of places
The thing I adore about reading short stories is that I get to encounter a variety of different characters and worlds in fleeting visits. When done well you find your imagination well and truly spoiled. Bigglesworth does an exquisite job, appetising the reader. I savoured every moment for as long as possible. The pace for each story was just right and kept you absorbed with the countless events that surrounded you.
I particularly enjoyed discovering how each story had a theme and a message to the reader. The reality of growing old, how money can’t buy everything (especially friends) and overcoming self doubt. These are just a few as the list is endless. They have been carefully crafted into each story and encourage the reader to think outside the box. It’s therapeutic writing and makes you generally stop and have a think about the ways of life.
Bigglesworth has a knack for writing about the little details that people often miss or forget. In a world that is currently dominated by a plague of walking zombies glued to their smartphones, it’s a welcoming sight to read and reminds you that it is healthy to sometimes switch off.
“You need to switch off a bit otherwise you’ll miss the good bits.”
The character development was brilliantly done given the stories are short. They are loaded with depth and emotion in such a limited time. We hear from young voices to old and Bigglesworth skilfully transitions between the two, giving this book that extra depth of realism that is often misplaced these days.
My favourite tale has got to be The Coral Tailed Waffle Bird. There’s something about the way Bigglesworth writes about the innocence and excitement of a child that is captivatingly charming. The build up and thrill that Bigglesworth portrays takes you back to your childhood days when everything was a lot simpler. The very prospect of seeing a rare bird was an event and would mean the whole world to you. Now as adults we are more likely to brush it off and not be bothered in the slightest. Bigglesworth reminds the reader of this lost youth and takes them back for just a few minutes to a time long faded. It’s sad yet comforting and I had fun reading it.
“Katie grabbed the long grass at the side of the track and ran it through her hands, like she was stroking the hair of the earth.”
I really appreciate photographic writing. Where I can see the scene like a photo in front of me as I am reading. My senses come alive and I can taste the atmosphere on the tip of my tongue. Bigglesworth did not disappoint, which made this book even more of a delight to read.
“The sun cast a glittery golden filter over the cloudless sky. The air was still, the grass a rich green; the daisies scattered across it seemed to shine. Week old cow pats lay half dried in the sun, the sign of livestock that had recently been moved on. I did not find the faint warm smell of dung to be unpleasant. The setting would have felt like something was missing from it had it not been in the air.”
I give A Beautiful Place To Die By Samuel Bigglesworth a Four out of Five Paw rating.
A variety of voices and stories I was kept entertained until the very end. I cried, laughed and cried some more at the natural flair as the stories gracefully skipped across the page. I look forward to reading more of Bigglesworth’s work in the future, a wonderful writer who knows how to express the emotions that life blissfuly bestows upon us.
Check out the links below to grab yourself a copy. Enjoy!
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