Tucked away in West Berkshire, below the hills of the Wayfarer’s Walk is the sprawling village of Inkpen, a gem that the Daily Telegraph has claimed is one of the most beautiful and remote villages in England.
This is where we can find the Inkpen Writers a group that was set up in 2009 and who meet monthly, a forum designed to encourage its members to share their literary talents.
A Twist in the Tale is the latest of 5 anthologies produced by this team where several exercises are included to show the differing interpretation that individual writers put on a theme.
Well – what a surprise. Inkpen has a ‘dark side’! Tales of murder, mayhem, brooding characters and mischief abound. These darker stories are interspersed with poetry, short, sweet and hopeful and poignant vignettes such as ‘Hope’ by Clare Evans. To name all the stories and authors and to review each individually would be too ambitious not to mention time consuming at this time of year, (I haven’t even started writing my Christmas cards yet)! However, what I can say is that each and every entry into this book is unique. The variety throughout is satisfying, thought provoking and in some instances, such as ‘The Clock is Ticking’ by Clare Evans, eye-opening. It is certainly not what I expected when I started reading and for that I’m glad.
The contributors are Meg Atkins, Gilly Burrough, Colin Currill, Clare Evans, Vin Foster, Terry Masters, Sally Mitchell and Jenny Veasey. If you know any of the writers already but haven’t had the pleasure of reading their writing, you may be in for a surprise.
If you enjoy short stories, essays and poetry, all ‘under one roof’, you will not be disappointed with this book. It is sold at Hungerford Bookshop and around the local villages and aims to achieve two goals – one to get the work of the Inkpen Writers better known and two, to raise funds for local charities.
Review by Hilary Stockwell