Review: Tales of the River Vine: “The Boy Who Carried a Forest in His Pocket”

Jean LeeSome titles are irresistible.  As soon as I saw that Jean Lee’s new short story was called, The Boy Who Carried a Forest in His Pocket (TBWCAFIHP), I knew I would have to read it.

The story opens with Mrs Schmidt inviting herself and her son over to her neighbour’s house, on a hot Sunday afternoon, because she believes beer is the devil’s juice, and her husband and his friend are indulging, in her home.

I liked ‘the devil’s juice’, but better yet, I liked that Mrs Schmidt believes organised sport is more wicked than alcohol. This could have been played for comedy: instead there is a hint of sinister, and gothic touches.  When the boys are sent off on a picnic, the main item in the list of warnings for what to beware of is, ‘The Wall’.  If I said any more, I’d give the plot away, and really, you should have a look for yourself.  It’s short, tantalising, and can be downloaded from Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes and Noble’s Nook.

TBWCAFIHP is the first story in a sequence that leads to the November release of Jean’s fantasy novel for Young Adults, Fallen Princeborn Omnibus.  We’re promised a series of on-line story releases over the coming months, as tasters.

I confess now, in case you hadn’t guessed it, that it’s a long time since I was a Young Adult.  However, the way I see it, if I could read adult novels when I was not so old, why shouldn’t I enjoy reading writing not aimed at my age group now I’m an adult?

Labels, who needs them?  Well, sometimes.  Not though, when it comes to genre.  I’ve a broad taste in literature, and if the writing hooks me, I don’t mind how it’s marketed.

If you want to know more about the background to the stories then I recommend a look at Jean Lee’s blog. She’s got some interesting insights into her writing processes, too.