Here at ECBC we love reading books that not only make us think but make us stop still in our busy lives and allow ourselves to feel. So when we were given the opportunity to read and review Samuel Bigglesworth’s new publication ‘A Beautiful Place to Die’ we put our hands up and yelled YES PLEASE.
A beautiful Place to Die is a heart-warming short story collection which will make you laugh and cry. Plunging you into the minds of outsiders of all stripes, from nine to ninety year olds, and from settings as diverse as derelict warehouses and wild woodland, these stories highlight the beauty buried in the most unlikely of places.
Everyone is different. We all live different lives and all have stories to tell. A Beautiful Place to Die brings this concept to life. Each short story follows a different narrative, different setting and different characters. Each one pulled at my heart and showed me a different side of life.
One particular story, only 5 pages long, with a young girl and gentleman discussing how the world sees them and focuses on their abnormalities – completely grabbed my attention and sucked me in. I wanted to know more – how does their story end?
Throughout reading I felt moved and also extremely impressed with how Bigglesworth was able to write from so many different perspectives. This book allows so many stories to be told, especially stories that are hard to tell.
A moment with the Author…
How did this book come about?
I was working on a novel and wanted to practice writing from different perspectives and in different narrative forms, so I wrote a couple of short stories in different voices and the collect grew out of there. I thought it would be cool to take a character which is not normally a main character and write about a pivotal moment in their past or a buried vulnerability, so that’s what the collection does.
Do you think it’s important to talk about these topics?
Everybody has an interesting and heart-warming story to tell, and it’s good for us to learn about each other. We can easily label someone as bad, yet the badness you are seeing always comes from people trying to protect themselves against pain, and it is a human side which is hard not to feel connected to when we work this out, or hear somebody’s story.
What would you say to someone that’s struggling right now?
When I feel in a fuzz I find writing a list of things to do for the day helps. It often includes getting dressed or making a coffee. Then when I have done something, I cross it off the list. Don’t set heights high – concentrate on small tasks. After all when you are in a strange place completing simple tasks is a huge achievement. Also remember, that everything passes, even if it’s just a changing perspective. Volunteering at an animal shelter can be hugely beneficial. Remember no matter who you are you can love and forgive yourself.
You can purchase A Beautiful Place to Die here.