Once Upon a Timepiece – Starr Wood

Once Upon a Timepiece is an extremely impressive debut.  It’s a collection  of 12 inter-connected short stories with the  common theme being the timepiece of the title, a 1946 Breitling Chronomat made from rose-coloured gold.  Once Upon a TimepieceStarting with January, this novella takes place over the course of one year with each month dedicated to a different story as the watch passes through the hands of 12 different owners.

I am not a big fan of short stories – one or two stories inevitably stand out for me but these are usually spoiled by my dislike of the weaker tales.  This collection succeeded where others failed as I was gripped by the whole concept as well as each integral part.  The author cleverly interlinks each story with the same precision one might imagine the craftsman addressed to the making of the Breitling Chronmat.  The characters of each story are strangers to each other but they  share the same fragility that all humanity has, at the mercy of time.  Greed, regret, ambition, envy, lust are all here with their full ugliness exposed in this thought-provoking read.

At times I was reminded of Roald Dahl’s wonderful  Tales of the Unexpected and W. W. Jacobs’ classic horror story The Monkey’s Paw – equally gripping reads!  This would make a great gift, especially for anyone suffering reader’s block or those unfortunate folk who don’t read very much…or indeed anyone…  Wondering what the imaginative Starr Wood will come up with next.

Once Upon a  Time was published by Bo Tree Books in November 2013.  It’s a short but extremely satisfying read at 178 pages.


Breitling Navitimer Premier 18K Rose Gold Watch H42035

Breitling Rose Gold Watch

Starr Wood


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  1. booketta says:

    I too loved this book and wrote a review a couple of months or so back. I put this one in the mix for our book group choice but sadly, it didn’t get selected this time. I think it’s because we read Sebastian Faulks short stories not that long ago. I waxed lyrical about it so much that hubs now has it on his TBR pile. :)

  2. admin says:

    It would be a great book group choice, Jane, I must suggest it to our library group. We also had Sebastian Faulks’ A Possible Life as one monthly read and it wasn’t to anyone’s taste!

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