editor's choice




‘In a world that is increasingly dark and aggressive, I think making beauty is an act of rebellion and that’s what I’m trying to do really,’ says author and illustrator Jackie Morris of The Unwindings. And she does it most successfully in this gorgeously produced book.

A pillow book, compact enough to be carried around, too, The Unwinding provides a much-needed respite for those of us who need to take a step back and calm our over active minds. It comprises Morris’s signature imaginative illustrations, a series of images which Morris created over the years, supported by thoughtful words, poems, fables, which capture our imaginations, spark our hopes, feed our dreams.

We’re great advocates of beautiful books. Of beautiful words, beautiful illustration, and whether you’re coming to Ms Morris’s work fresh or if you’re long-time fans, as we are, this is a lovely tome, a lovely concept. We recently waxed lyrical about Charlie Mackesy’s The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse for reasons similar to why we like The Unwindings. Anything that makes you think, anything that helps you to dream, lose yourself, takes you out of the often challenging times we find ourselves in, anything that makes you feel better when the world is simply too much, is closing in, has to be celebrated.

Beauty is the balm we need to calm our troubled souls.


Jackie Morris | The Unwinding | Unbound | hardback | £14.99

audio also available

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Jackie Morris on the book


Acknowledgements: Quoted book text and images © Jackie Morris 2020. Many thanks to Anne Cater for inviting us and to the publisher for supplying a review copy. All opinions are our own. All rights reserved.

See also:Charlie Mackesy and the importance of touch‘; ‘Juan Villoros’s The Wild Book‘; ‘Chris Whitaker’s small-town America’; ‘Nora Roberts’ Sanctuary: an Old Familiar’; Carver’s Nothing Important Happened Today’; By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept’; ‘Yvonne Battle-Fenton’s Remembered‘; ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised‘; ‘We should all be feminists‘; The not-so-invisible woman: 150 greats in their own words’; ‘How Penguin learned to fly – Allen Lane and the Original “Penguin Ten”‘; Dorothy L. Sayer’s Busman’s Holiday – Romek Marber for Penguin Crime (book covers we love).

Also of interest: Night Mail (1936), changing the face of British film; A Colour Box by Len Lye (1935); Hitchcock (2012); The Splendour of George Stevens’ Giant (1956). Hitchcock (2012).

This review is copyright © 2020 by The Literary Shed. All rights are reserved. All opinions expressed are our own. If you wish to reproduce this piece, please contact us for permission and provide the necessary credit. Thank you so much. We welcome your feedback.


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