Vinny’s Wilderness opens in South Belfast with divorced teacher Vinny. She returns to her home to discover that her dearly loved and overgrown garden has been bulldozed and unceremoniously dumped in a skip outside her house. Who is responsible?
We learn of her friendship with the glamorous Alex Masterton, whose son Denzil she is tutoring for the eleven-plus. More interested in the outdoors than in endless practice papers, Denzil struggles against expectations, both at school, and within his rigid family home. The constraints governing Alex’s life as Mrs Masterton are similarly exposed, with a psychologically abusive husband scornful of her supposedly inferior education.
As Alex and Vinny’s relationship develops, both women struggle to come to terms with past hurts and Alex makes a dramatic decision that will affect all their lives. Vinny’s Wilderness is a sensitive rendering of childhood friendship, meditating on the importance and strength of female friendships alongside the curveballs of motherhood.