Delve into a world of change and reinvention.
Where relationships are as delicate as turtle eggs, and just as easily smashed.
This poignant short story collection explores the pivotal moments that transform our lives. Jenny, whose life is defined by small disasters, discovers a bigger, more generous version of herself. A traveller girl might just win her race and alter her life’s course. A widow, cut off in a riverside backwater, opens her heart to a stranger.
In this captivating collection by award-winning writer, Alice Fowler, readers will be moved by the raw vulnerability of human connection, and the resilience that allows us to grow and thrive in the face of hardship. In change, Fowler’s characters find the ability to be truly free.
‘Poignant and perfectly paced, these lovely stories lean towards happy outcomes, compassionate compromises, unexpectedly rewarding friendships and good deeds.
There’s hardships and heartache here too, but Fowler’s relatable characters are interested in making the best of difficult situations, ranging from early onset dementia and adoption, to the death of a beloved son – where a hawthorn, hazel, spindle and blackthorn hedge mark his passing in the war (Jack’s Hedge).
Poised on the brink of a change, Jenny remembers ‘a man she saw now and then, in whose company she had unfurled like a rose’ (Becoming Your Best You), parents tell their daughter a truth about her birth (Something You Need To Know), while clever, disadvantaged, ten-year-old Maggie runs pell-mell towards her future, like ‘the swift that skims the cornfields. Swooping and dipping’ in the Surrey Hills in the 1920s (The Race).- Eithne Farry, The Daily Mail
"These are precious things: stories written with delicacy and heart. Chance meetings and significant moments are rendered precisely and to such moving effect, in this deeply skilful and wise collection.” - Wendy Erskine
“Alice Fowler's collection of short stories capture precise and intimate moments of being. Caught out by sudden and capricious turns in emotion, Fowler asks us to observe the whimsical, often callow, responses humans make as they declare who they are in the face of grievance and loss: humans preparing to start again. Fowler's spare and modest style underscores a particular sensitivity to the relationship between individuals and their natural environment; the way in which green spaces and forms of botanical and organic life can alleviate and disperse negative emotion, entangled, unresolved habits of mind.” - Sally Bayley
“Fowler has weaved a collection of stories out of fine, tender threads. Each one vibrates with her compassionate observation of life in its multitudinous forms.” - Vanessa Onwuemezi
“These elegant, atmospheric short stories are filled with passion, renewal and movement. Each has a certain quiet strength all of its own, drawing us into rich histories and dramatic moments of change.” - Imogen Robertson
About the Author
Alice Fowler is drawn to writing about outsiders: people who, for a wide variety of reasons, feel at the edges of society. Landscape and the natural world are also powerful sources of inspiration. She enjoys how, in the short story form, complex threads can be unpicked and rewoven, within a relatively small word count.
Alice has a degree in Human Sciences from Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. She worked as a journalist until 2006, writing features and interviews. Her short stories have won and been shortlisted in prizes and printed in anthologies.
She lives in Surrey with her husband and twin sons. She is passionate about environmental issues, loves theatre, walking and playing tennis, and finds most writerly conundrums can be solved while out walking with her rescue lurcher dog.
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