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What the Wind Saw by Zoë Jasko

Short Stories from the Heart of Hertfordshire

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Rating 9 (from 9 votes)
Rating: 3.33 out of 5 (6 customer ratings)
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Reviews

Bob Little
An odd, yet intriguing, title
Review date: 25th March 2022

‘What The Wind Saw’ is an odd, yet intriguing, title for an odd - yet often intriguing – book from the pen of Zoë Jasko. Intriguing, ingenious and, at times, enigmatic, the book is a collection of 25 short stories set in various eras but all focused on an area designated ‘Middle Hertfordshire’ – perhaps in homage to that great storyteller of the last century, JRR Tolkien, and his mythical land of Middle Earth largely born out of his experiences in ‘Middle England’. Each of Zoë’s tales - a mixture of fiction, fancy and ‘faction’ (a basically factual story re-imagined) – is told with an urgency that keeps the storyline moving at the rapid pace required of short stories.

In four sections – Villages (Wheathampstead and Ayot St Lawrence); Field, Lake and River; Towns (Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City), and The City (St Albans) – the book also contains a foreword by Robert Voss, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, as well as a clever epilogue which draws parallels between the coming of the Black Death in March 1349 and the introduction of regulations aimed at preventing the spread of Covid19 in March 2020.

The concept of telling stories concerning people living on one area of land, over the centuries, is ingenious – and could appeal to those who know that particular area well. The stories illustrate an unsurprising but often ignored truth that, in every era, people’s concerns are the same. They yearn for stability, love, food and safety. Life doesn’t always provide these things easily and the perpetual challenge is how people cope with this and how they try to achieve their aims, given each era’s social conventions, technology and so on.

This book should appeal to those who have a connection with and a liking for ‘Middle Hertfordshire’. It could also attract short story devotees – especially those who are partial to having a variety of genres represented in the tales they consume. In addition, those searching for passing diversion and distraction in a book could find that dipping into ‘What the Wind Saw’ meets their need.


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Sandrine Hebmann
Beautifully written
Review date: 1st May 2022

I can't stop reading Zoë's short stories! They are beautifully written, and as an avid reader, I know that a book is a good one when you can just picture what you are reading, and for sure What the Wind Saw comes to life in the reader's mind. The descriptions are vivid, the reader is transported throughout the centuries, from ancient to modern times. Once you start reading a story, it is hard to put the book down.
Living in California, I find it refreshing to picture the lush and romantic English countryside.
This is definitely a great book!


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Rating: 3.33 out of 5 (6 customer ratings)

Paperback eBook

£14.95
ISBN: 9781914151415
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Description

What the Wind Saw is a collection of 25 short stories of the people, real and imagined, from a small tract of ancient land in the heart of Hertfordshire.
The wind has always blown over these villages, fields, rivers, its towns and its city. It always will. We have the same worries, fears, hopes and dreams today as we have always had.
We are connected to each other by our shared experiences, by the places that we live and by the paths that we tread.
These are stories of friendship, power, love, grief and ambition inspired by the landscape and what is in it – John Bunyan’s Cottage, Shaw’s Corner, the annual Ayot St Lawrence art show, the Devil’s Dyke, St Albans market, a walk in the woods, a walk across the fields.

Further details

Rating: 3.33 out of 5 (6 customer ratings)
5 stars
100%
4 stars
0%
3 stars
0%
2 stars
0%
1 stars
0%

Reviews

Bob Little
An odd, yet intriguing, title
Review date: 25th March 2022

‘What The Wind Saw’ is an odd, yet intriguing, title for an odd - yet often intriguing – book from the pen of Zoë Jasko. Intriguing, ingenious and, at times, enigmatic, the book is a collection of 25 short stories set in various eras but all focused on an area designated ‘Middle Hertfordshire’ – perhaps in homage to that great storyteller of the last century, JRR Tolkien, and his mythical land of Middle Earth largely born out of his experiences in ‘Middle England’. Each of Zoë’s tales - a mixture of fiction, fancy and ‘faction’ (a basically factual story re-imagined) – is told with an urgency that keeps the storyline moving at the rapid pace required of short stories.

In four sections – Villages (Wheathampstead and Ayot St Lawrence); Field, Lake and River; Towns (Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City), and The City (St Albans) – the book also contains a foreword by Robert Voss, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, as well as a clever epilogue which draws parallels between the coming of the Black Death in March 1349 and the introduction of regulations aimed at preventing the spread of Covid19 in March 2020.

The concept of telling stories concerning people living on one area of land, over the centuries, is ingenious – and could appeal to those who know that particular area well. The stories illustrate an unsurprising but often ignored truth that, in every era, people’s concerns are the same. They yearn for stability, love, food and safety. Life doesn’t always provide these things easily and the perpetual challenge is how people cope with this and how they try to achieve their aims, given each era’s social conventions, technology and so on.

This book should appeal to those who have a connection with and a liking for ‘Middle Hertfordshire’. It could also attract short story devotees – especially those who are partial to having a variety of genres represented in the tales they consume. In addition, those searching for passing diversion and distraction in a book could find that dipping into ‘What the Wind Saw’ meets their need.


Verified Purchase
please wait
Sandrine Hebmann
Beautifully written
Review date: 1st May 2022

I can't stop reading Zoë's short stories! They are beautifully written, and as an avid reader, I know that a book is a good one when you can just picture what you are reading, and for sure What the Wind Saw comes to life in the reader's mind. The descriptions are vivid, the reader is transported throughout the centuries, from ancient to modern times. Once you start reading a story, it is hard to put the book down.
Living in California, I find it refreshing to picture the lush and romantic English countryside.
This is definitely a great book!


Verified Purchase
please wait