This week’s featured book is soon to be available in the US! We expect to have copies of Vinny’s Wilderness by Janet Shepperson early next week. This Liberties Press title has already received some wonderful reviews. Keep reading to see what readers think of Vinny’s Wilderness.
Book Review: Vinny’s Wilderness
Jackie Law | neverimitate
“The author has captured the vernacular as well as the attitudes of a place where a portion of the population fights to remain a part of a kingdom whose laws it rejects, while others prioritise wider family over home.”
“This is a tale of friendship, motherhood, and the importance of substance in a life judged by wrappings.”
“It is a reminder that intelligence, academic and emotional, is more than providing prescribed answers in a child’s test.”
Book Review: Vinny’s Wilderness by Janet Shepperson
Aisling Murphy | Pure M
“Janet Shepperson’s debut novel Vinny’s Wilderness is a beautiful book about friendship, childhood innocence, and the effect nature has on us and how we feel.”
“Shepperson’s beautiful imagery, combined with the colloquial language used by the characters, really allows the story to flow.”
“Overall, it was a quick, enjoyable read, with beautiful imagery and a well-written, engaging story.”
review: Amos Greig on Vinny’s Wilderness by Janet Shepperson
Amos Grieg | The Incubator Journal
“The standard of writing in the novel is impressive; the story flows well…”
“The Bildungsroman approach combined with the use of first person narrative reminded me of Jumpa Lahiri combined with Charles Dickens.”
“It reminded me very much of the sort of book which wins the Man Booker Prize for literature. An excellent start…”
About the Book
Vinny’s Wilderness opens with a divorced teacher returning to her home in south Belfast, where she discovers that her dearly loved, overgrown garden has been bulldozed and unceremoniously dumped in a skip outside her house. What follows are her vivid memories of the previous four months, when she tutored Denzil, a lively, personable young boy.
More interested in the outdoors than engaging in the learning essential to successfully pass the ‘eleven-plus’ exams required to get him into second-level education, Denzil struggles against the constraints and expectations within his rigid family home. As he begins to emerge from his shell, playing with Vinny’s daughter in their chaotic garden, Vinny and Denzil’s mother discover a shared past, and tentatively pick up their friendship after a split during their own time working towards the eleven-plus exams.
Vinny’s Wilderness is a sensitive rendering of childhood friendship, tinged with nostalgia viewed through the emotional intensity of studying for your first major exam. Reminiscent of the Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante, it illustrates how friendship can survive adolescence and in adulthood evolve into the support needed to change your life and become your true self.