Scratched Enamel Heart

The resilience and frailty of the human heart lie at the core of this second short story collection from award-winning author, Amanda Huggins. 

A lonely woman spends a perfect night with a stranger, yet is their connection enough to make her realise life is worth living? Maya, a refugee, wears a bracelet strung with charms that are a lifeline to her past; when the past catches up with her, she has a difficult decision to make. Rowe’s life on the Yorkshire coast is already mapped out for him, but when there is an accident at the steelworks he knows he has to flee from an intolerable future. In the Costa prize-winning ‘Red’, Mollie is desperate to leave Oakridge Farm and her abusive stepfather, to walk free with the stray dog she has named Hal.

These are stories filled with yearning and hope, the search for connection and the longing to escape. They transport the reader from India to Japan, from mid-west America to the north-east coast of England, from New York to London. Battered, bruised, jaded or jilted, the human heart somehow endures.


ISBN: 978-1-9160693-9-8

Published: 27th May 2020


ISBN: 978-1-9160693-8-1

Published: 27th May 2020

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Amanda Huggins is the award-winning author of the short story collection, Separated From the Sea (Retreat West Books), which received a Special Mention in the 2019 Saboteur Awards.

She has also published a flash fiction collection, Brightly Coloured Horses (Chapeltown Books), and a poetry collection, The Collective Nouns for Birds (Maytree Press). Her fiction, poetry and travel writing regularly appear in anthologies, literary journals, newspapers and magazines.

In 2018 Amanda was awarded third prize in the Costa Short Story Award, and she has been placed and listed in numerous other competitions, including Fish, Bridport, Bath, the Alpine Fellowship Writing Award and the Colm Toibin International Short Story Award. Her travel writing has won several prizes, notably the BGTW New Travel Writer of the Year in 2014, and she has twice been a finalist in the Bradt Guides New Travel Writer Award.


Amanda writes with empathy, an eye for vivid detail, and a sense of adventure. Her stories display darkness and light, vulnerability and strength, and great charm.

Alison Moore, author of the Man-Booker Prize shortlisted, The Lighthouse

Reading Amanda Huggins is like taking a journey around the world. Her stories are so beautifully written we forget where we are. Japan, Russia, Paris, London, the States, we are drawn into a series of fascinating lives. Hearts are broken but survive, scuffed and painted bright colours, people never fail to keep trying. These are stories we need to read.

Angela Readman, author of Something Like Breathing

“Through these stories, Amanda Huggins cleverly shows us the commonality of emotional experience. That feelings of isolation, love, grief, loss and regret occur in different backgrounds and cultures. And equally, that hope and the promise of a fresh start is possible”.

Gail Aldwin, author of The String Games