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How Green Was My Valley

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Well, I'm rather disappointed with this apparent 'classic' as quite honestly it was such a slog to get through.

It immortalised the way of life of the South Wales Valleys coal mining communities, where Llewellyn spent a small amount of time with his grandfather. Mike Gwilym who was very talented,was going to advise the potential colliery owners in the USA about running the new deep mines in one of the newly excavated coal mining areas. The coming-of-age narrator, Huw, so well paints a picture of his everyday struggles in a rapidly-industrialized Wales that you can literally hear the birds and smell the blackberry pie.Their relationship consisted entirely of a few kisses and half-hearted promises over the course of a week. I think this book speaks to a lot of us because it talks about a universal subject, and I'm sure that's why it has become a classic and has survived through time. I loved the way the terraced houses were depicted,with the large shed out the backyard,for the sole use of the "boys!

So everything is there for the perfect book: haunting coming-of-age-story; immensely likable main character, Huw; large, varied and loving family; idyllic setting—the 'green valley' of a Welch mining town; romance, drama and humor, even if it's all set to change. Sadly, Karen at Booker Talkhowever, pointed out that though born to Welsh parents, Richard Llewellyn is not considered a Welsh author and that he lied about being born in Wales! There are also some absolutely brutal scenes, especially when the community seeks justice for the assault and death of a child, and the passages where a long strike brings starvation to the people. The village at the time also lives as a sort of self-sufficient unit, chosing for instance to deliver its own form of justice when a crime is committed rather than turn to the law, distrustful of all that is English. It is very strange to think back like this, although come to think of it, there is no fence or hedge round Time that has gone.

How Green Was My Valley" is a book about nostalgia and it is told from the point of view of Huw, who is now an elder, but who reflects back on his life and his childhood in the valleys of Wales. There were some good performances but they were not particularly powerful and occasionally a bit saccharine. You’ve done an excellent job with your review and I thoroughly enjoyed reading your comments on this work, Lisa.

Llewellyn gathered material for the novel from conversations with local mining families in Gilfach Goch. Gwil and Beth's relationship was beautiful though, the love they had for each other was so pure and sweet. A stage version, adapted by Shaun McKenna was performed at the Theatre Royal in Northampton in 1990. Our narrator is Huw Morgan, a child of six and youngest of the Morgan family when the book opens (a younger sister is born later), with father Gwilym and five older brothers working in the mines. Yes, an overwhelming sense of nostalgia and loss pervades all 600+ pages, but somehow it stops well short of being trite or cloying.I didn't enjoy all the melodramatic metaphorical nonsense that Huw monologued about when it came to romantic love, sex, and singing/choir stuff. It reminds us of the life we are capable of living and contrasts it with the life we choose to live. Somewhere near the midpoint the book started to fade for me and I grew lost as family members left home, found spouses, fought their own battles. In 1966 one of these coal-tip mountains collapsed in an avalanche that killed nearly an entire school house full of children and teachers in Aberfan.

Loved the Welsh brogue, it added to the atmosphere and really gave the tight knit community a genuine feel. Merddyn Gruffydd, the preacher who is loved by Angharad, helps Huw recover from his illness, and is supportive of the Morgans. And yes, I loved Pride and if you remember the woman who organised the welcome for the Londoners and later became a politician, I transcribed interviews with her for Richard King’s book, “Brittle with Relics” which covered that period! Llewellyn wrote 3 more novels that act as sequels to Huw’s stories, but user reviews on Goodreads are saying that they are nowhere near as evocative as How Green Was My Valley, which might explain why none of them is available as an ebook.Bronwen, sister-in-law: A gentle character to whom Huw goes when he is troubled or wants to learn information that the adults hold from him. Llewelyn gathered material for the novel from conversations with local mining families in Gilfach Goch. Along the way, almost everything about his humble life is altered, through strikes, schooling, marriage, betrayal, passion, death, and even boxing. Coombes and Lewis Jones weren't mourning for a hopelessly lost past, but arguing in their moment for change, for fairness, for their lives.

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