My latest collection of environmental tales Tall Trees Short Stories Vol21 comes out on 1st March. Awaiting the first reviews of a new book can always be a nervous distraction, so it’s been a relief to learn that so far, reviewers seem to have embraced my quirky collection of short stories with enthusiasm.
“This is an intriguing collection of stories. ~ Gabriel Hemery has ‘unfurled his net’, as he puts it, to catch stories of people living with trees in an extraordinary variety of contexts. As with the previous Vol 20, this collection of stories is not so much about trees as a vivid depiction of human dramas played out in the company of trees. Sometimes an individual tree plays a central role, such as the plane tree obscuring a voyeur’s view, or the mighty oak as lifelong mentor; sometimes we see a tableau unfold simply framed by the trees, such as wild young lovers on derelict land or a startling floor-show in the woods. ~ I recommend this book, both for tree-lovers and for anyone who appreciates a quirky collection of tales.’Robin Walker, Author – read the full review
This is a delightfully eclectic collection of stories, but whether it was reading them against the background of a global pandemic I was constantly aware of a sense of unease. These are inescapably written in the time of Covid and our increasing awareness of the threat of climate change. The bleakness of some of the stories is there to act as a warning. One chilling tale describes a world where censorship has removed all possible reference to global warming. Some of the stories are really quite dark. In Plane View is a tale of obsession, The Sawyers: Or, A Tale of Two Halves is Grand Guignol.Fran, Goodreads
Some are set in the present, some the future and some, like the extraordinary Fin, zigzag through time. There are fairy tale elements and a ghost story which describes scenes in a landscape Brueghel could have painted. There are bad fathers but also wise counsellors. Feral coupling on an abandoned motorway overpass but also a tender vignette about first love.
Landscapes are lovingly described whether in France, Japan or rural Britain, and trees of course, as one would expect. But their role is not always benign. They bear witness: to wars, to the frailty of man, but also to his heroism. They shelter and hear secrets. But most of all they are the sine qua non of our existence. “Without trees, human life would cease to exist”.
A captivating collection of tree tales – even better than the last anthology, if that were possible! I enjoyed the mix of story styles, all beautifully written and prompting wider reflection. Hemery’s interest in our human foibles, as well as his passion for trees, makes every story a great read. The book is now circulating through the generations in my family with excellent feedback to date!Sara, Goodreads
If you have read Tall Trees Short Stories Vol21, I would be very grateful if you could post a review somewhere online, for example Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc. These reviews can help introduce a book to a new audience. Thank you.