All Walks of Life reflects, through fiction, the realities of living with an illness of the mind in contemporary society.
From a writer diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease struggling to finish... More > his story and say goodbye to his wife, to an elderly woman who confronts her agoraphobia and the great outdoors, each story provides a window into conditions experienced by increasingly more people worldwide.
There are moments of sadness, of joy, of anger, of regret, of asking over and over the reason why? To fight it. To ignore it. To tell everyone else that it's OK. To lie. From not being able to sleep, to not being able to move or speak, like Mary; a little girl who tells you she loves you by blinking three times.
All of these conditions, all of these characters, can be found in All Walks of Life.< Less
‘I’m scared of the future...’ The fear of a young girl leads her grandmother to tell a bedtime story; a story now held in the frail depths of her memory. But she can still see Peggy... More > Smith, a girl saddened by much and touched by everything, mirrored in the blue pupils of her granddaughter’s eyes.
So we must go back to that day, to London in the summer of 2013, remembered now as a day of many encounters. Peggy’s widowed father was there; Mr Luck too, the big-bellied bookshop owner of A Spine Full of Words; as well as the notorious Scratchwood Bullies; and of course the thing she found, something that no one had ever told her about before.
But it was to be Peggy’s encounter with death, along with her own fear of the future, which left her with nothing but life. This is, after all, her path to Wonder...< Less
In October 2012, writer Matthew Small travelled to the Holy Land in want to further his understanding of the enduring conflict between Israel and Palestine.
In these honest and evocative... More > reflections, Small retells his experiences of crossing into the West Bank to work the olive harvest with Palestinian farmers; he relates his encounters with organisations who are determinedly working to sow the seeds of peace in soils that are deeply scared by suffering and war; and what's more, he struggles to find, through writing, why this wall between these two people persists.
Joining with a group of international and Israeli volunteers, Small attempts to show that, despite the ongoing occupation, peace is not lost, but simply still to be discovered.< Less
Lost in Nature’s cruellest winter and alone in the depths of her deepest forest, a samurai, Isamu, succumbs to the thick-falling snow. He awakes to see her looking over him, shrouded by the... More > swaying branches of a tree. Shaken by his chill and her tender beauty, he asks for her name and she answers, Green Willow.
The seed of their love is then planted in the forest; their happiness falls with the sakura blossom in spring, and flows in the cool blue waters of their stream. But Isamu is soon torn between his forbidden love and his duties as a samurai. He must return to the castle, and fight in his lord’s wars - a man ravaged by the powerful exports arriving on the trade ship from distant shores, guns and a new religion.
After touching with life for the first time, Isamu cannot leave the forest without her; he will take Green Willow with him. But can the simple love they share really span the differences in their worlds, or will they, and their love, be splintered apart, forever?< Less