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Dock

How Green was my Valley - Richard Llewellyn

Occasionally I read a book that leaves me wholly banjaxed by the authors quality of writing, characters, and locations. This book is one of them. First published in 1939, the book is narrated by Huw Morgan looking back on his life. From Childhood through to his early adulthood. The story is set around the time of the turn of the last century under the reign of Queen Victoria in an unnamed village in the Welsh valleys. Llewellyn vividly describes Huws loving and supportive family life and a community whose lives are dominated by the pit and the chapel. A community of hardworking and hard playing people whos lives change as the book progresses due to many factors but one predominant theme is the squeeze on the wages and working conditions by the pits owners (including the sneaky manoeuvre by the latter of promoting Huws father Gwilym to Pit Deputy when it becomes clear that his son Davy is one of the organisers of men far and wide across the mountains into a coherent union).

Strong characters and fantastic dialogue are interwoven with politics, family, birth, death, god, patriotism, love, murder, and nature. All the characters are wonderfully developed but my own personal favourites are the aforementioned Gwilym, a hard man and patriarch with a sharp sense of humour and an even sharper sense for what is morally right, and Merddyn Gruffydd the preacher from the village chapel who is a mentor for the young Huw in his formative years. The descriptions of the mountains and valleys add even more richness to the narrative, which rolls along through Llewellyn writing in the Welsh vernacular and makes reading this novel a thoroughly pleasurable experience. A classic!

PS Top tip for anybody who does read this. Penguin have done their usual great job of producing a quality edition but they should have put the glossary of pronunciation for all the fantastic Welsh names in the front instead of the back. Fortunately for me I chanced upon it halfway through reading the book and enjoyed learning the correct way to say all the names which heightened the overall reading experience for me personally.

Frazier Cranium

I can't bloomin' remember who it was but this book has been highly recommended for ages to me.  I've seen a screen adaptation of it and that was pretty fecking good.

Solid review that Dock thanks.  I'll read it tonight as I know I'm not allowed to put it on my To Read list
Dock

Frazier Cranium wrote:
I can't bloomin' remember who it was but this book has been highly recommended for ages to me. I've seen a screen adaptation of it and that was pretty fecking good.

Solid review that Dock thanks. I'll read it tonight as I know I'm not allowed to put it on my To Read list


For the record I only said that I personally find it self-defeating having a pile of books that 'need' to be read. You do what suits you lad, none of my beeswax.
Frazier Cranium

I was too busy reading my list to take enough notice, kid.
Dock

Frazier Cranium wrote:
I was too busy reading my list to take enough notice, kid.


Can I have a read of it? Go on.
Frazier Cranium

No.
Dock

Frazier Cranium wrote:
No.


WAC

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