This is not a regional book. It will give especial pleasure to those who know and love or hate Birmingham and the Midlands, because it is steeped in the landscape, the cityscape, the urban detail, the liminal spaces, the language and the people of the region. But that is by the way. For this is also a book about Britain. Not the Midlands, not England, but the whole island . . . The characters in these stories come from every section of society, except the international mega rich who own real estate in the city state that purports to be the national’s capital. But if those forces, economically and politically dominant, are not characters in these stories, they are present in what is a profoundly political book . . . It is enough to say that this is a well-edited collection of beautifully written stories. Do yourself a favour and get your hands on a copy soon.
And today a wonderful review appeared on Book Oxygen:
The writing is consistently strong and widely varied, reflecting the experiences and styles of an extensive network from all walks and stations of life. A watery theme links several, as though the sea were indeed both metaphorically as well as physically inching inland . . . This book offers an insight into how Midland writers, in this instance over thirty years, create and develop a sense of solidarity within both an area and a discipline. The dots join up and make a gorgeous whole – well worth reading and emulating. Reviewed by Siân Miles