Friday, 30 November 2018

The Wooden Hill by Jamie Guiney

The Wooden Hill by Jamie Guiney
Published by Epoque Press today, the 30th November 2018

Featured in Cover Characteristics: Stairs and WorldReads: Northern Ireland

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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 the last in this debut collection of eighteen accomplished short stories by Northern Irish author, Jamie Guiney. I loved that the stories are ordered to follow the span of life with the very first tale being about a newborn baby and the last focusing on old age. I think my favourite story is Summer Stones which depicts how quickly a person's work and dreams can be shattered by the thoughtless actions of other people.

Guiney has a wonderful talent for capturing people's essence and for concisely depicting each scene. I could easily envisage how each story played out and frequently felt quite nostalgic for my own youth and childhood. The sweet display in The Penny World Cup is exactly as I remember, even down to the time wasting business of choosing individual sweets to make up to the value of my weekly pocket money! I did think that some of the stories were more scenes than full stories and I didn't always feel I had understood exactly what Guiney was trying to put across. However I appreciated the opportunity to experience his work and I am sure I will read more of Jamie Guiney's writing in the future.

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Jamie Guiney / Short stories / Books from Northern Ireland


  1. oh span of life tales? How endearing! I love to read stories about how people's actions impact others! I love that this made you nostalgic! Those are the best books!

    1. This is such a lovely and insightful collection