A SPELL IN WINTER
short stories by Jonathan Dodds
The short stories in this assured first collection range in place and time – from a young man's uncertain return to the countryside of his childhood at the end of WW1 (In the Merry Month of May), to a criminal meeting in a contemporary London pub (Getting It Sorted); from the world of knocker-boys and antiques runners in 80's Brighton (The Bibliophiles), to a Scottish farmer's romantic decision during a winter day's hedging (The Hechle).
What they have in common is the same assured mastery of language and of ordinary speech, and the same powerful evocation of place and time. These are also narratives which deftly explore the hidden intricacies of the human heart: tales of unconventional love and illicit love, tales of uxorious love and infidelity, of love triangles, and long-lost love...
And all the stories gathered here share a common sensibility, too; one which seeks to uncover the profound within the minutiae of everyday life and work, and which reveals with insight and compassion the tightrope we all walk between the debilitating threat of loss and the hope which sustains us...
“A superb depiction of rural life and relationships, with an astonishing sense of place.”
(Joanne Harris, author, about A Spell in Winter)
(Joanne Reardon, BBC Radio Drama, on Second Wind)
“Fantastically heady stuff - provocative and confrontational – utterly compelling.”
(Jeremy Sheldon, The Literary Consultancy, The Bibliophiles)
“A fine, moving story.”
(Joy Hendry, Editor Chapman magazine, about The First Touch)