Vinny's Wilderness

Janet Shepperson

Date Published :
December 2016
Publisher :
Liberties Press
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781910742341
Pages : 180
Dimensions : 8.5 X 5.31 inches
In stock


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.

About The Author

Janet Shepperson was born in Edinburgh in 1954. She studied English Literature at Aberdeen University and has worked as a journalist, community services volunteer and primary school teacher. She has lived in Belfast since 1978. She has published poetry in literary journals including Poetry Ireland Review, Cyphers, Crannog, The Stinging Fly, with two of her short stories shortlisted for the Hennessy Literary Awards. Previously published poetry collections include The Aphrodite Stone (Salmon Poetry, 1995) and Eve Complains to God (Lagan Press, 2004).


"An extraordinary and consistently compelling read from cover to cover, "Vinny's Wilderness" is highly recommended and clearly showcases author Janet Shepperson's genuine gift for originality and storytelling."

- Midwest Book Review, April 2017

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