Recently, a member of a local writing group approached me and asked me if I’d be interested in reviewing a book they had put together and published. Honoured, I said I’d love to.
Where the Wild Winds Blow is an eclectic mix of fact and fiction, featuring short stories, poems and memoirs contributed by the various members of the Whittlesey Wordsmiths. I have to say; I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I will admit I was pleasantly surprised. Informative, thought-provoking, and at times, enjoyably humorous, it was a real pleasure to read.
At just over 400 pages long it is quite a dense book, but for me, it is not a book that should be devoured all at once, but rather savoured, slowly. Neither does it need to be read sequentially, but rather picked up and flicked through until something piques your curiosity or catches your eye, be that poem, short story or one of the more factual pieces. There’s certainly a wide variety to choose from. I loved the black humour of Jan Cunningham’s somewhat morally bankrupt character in The Mitherers. Then there was Stephen Oliver’s curious tale of Peter Lewis, which recants the story of a modest, seemingly level headed man who lives in constant terror for his life thanks to the same monthly reoccurring nightmare.
Val Chapman’s Amos, concerning a 92-year-old chimney sweep that has won a national writing competition, was hilarious. Largely unimpressed with the pomp and flowing champagne at the award ceremony, Amos is far more concerned about how he can get his hands on a pint of Guinness. Some of the poems, which reflect the bleak beauty of the fens, are eloquent and evocative, while others are witty and amusing. Plus, if you’re looking to brush up on your local history of the fens there’s Philip’s Cumberland’s aptly titled, The Fens (very briefly), packed with lots of interesting facts including several notable historic individuals, like Samuel Pepys and Oliver Cromwell, and their links to the area.
Where the Wild Winds Blow is a veritable box of delights and makes for great reading. The writing is impressive, especially as, noted in the acknowledgements, many of the contributors started their writing projects later in life. A lovely anthology, it would make a thoughtful gift for someone with an interest in the fens or just the book lover in your life, and one I highly recommend.
You can find out more about the Whittlesey Wordsmiths here and buy a copy of the book here, and here.
5 thoughts on “Eva Jordan reviews… Where the Wild Winds Blow by the Whittlesey Wordsmiths”
I am really pleased you enjoyed our book, Eva. Your review put a smile on all our writer’s faces, some of our writers, not quite in their first flush of youth never thought they would see their name in print as a writer, To have their work praised and in print has been a tremendous boost to their self-confidence and esteem. Thank you for taking the time to do write the review, we really appreciate it.
Phil for Whittlesey Wordsmiths.
Aww… I’m so pleased to hear this, Phil. It was a joy to read and my absolute pleasure to review x
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Thank you, Eva, for reading our book. It’s great to get feedback from an established writer. I’d like to reblog your post if that’s OK with you?
It was my absolute pleasure, Cathy. And yes, reblog away! X
Reblogged this on Writing Wrinkles and commented:
I’d like to thank Eva Jordan for her review of our writing group’s anthology Where The Wild Winds Blow.
Eva’s most recent title, Time Will Tell, is her third and concluding story about the Lemalf family.