The warmth and love Richard Llewellyn had for his Welsh family and the coal-mining village where he grew up has remained with me for maybe 40+ years since I first read it. Written in 1939, How Green Was My Valley has become a bittersweet coming of age tale of a boy growing up in a large family in a small town, and of his love for his lovely sister-in-law. This is a coal mine story, so you just know there's going to be some tragedy involved, and of course there is. The story is written from the depths of the author's heart and soul. No wonder it won an Oscar when it was made into a movie. If you've never read it, do it now. If you read it 40 years ago, read it again. It won't be stale.
Within pages, I felt that I was reading a masterpiece. Richard Llewelyn does a marvelous job of introducing his audience to the lush history of Wales. Not only does he descriptively carry us into the past through the home of the Morgans, but slowly introduces readers to Welsh sentence structure; it is not merely an attempt to sound sappy or sentimental, but an effort to share the beauty of language used by the Welsh. The result is undeniable liquid poetry. At first, the unusual phrasing may strike you as odd and make reading difficult, but before you know it, you will be swept into it. The story itself is gripping as it carries us through the hardships and triumphs that bring a family closer together and at times, tear it apart - told through the eyes of a boy. You will find yourself remembering life's many "initiations" through the eyes of Huw Morgan as well as forgotten sensations of childhood. Because of this, the story holds universal appeal and will leave a long...
From the very first line of this book, I knew I was in for an interesting, unique experience. This novel was beautiful~ the flowing language, the flashes from present time to the past, the intricate detail of each character. The simplicity of the narrative of this story carries the plot line along. The descriptive use of words, especially adjectives, sets the reader right in the middle of all the action. Although the characters seem too "good" a lot of the time, I think the reason for this is because the society which they inhabit is so. They do have their bad qualities which they acknowledge and try to remedy. Llewellyn chose to write this book with simple Welsh language; a wise choice I heartily agree with it. The reader can feel the words coming straight from the heart, and can therefore connect well with the characters. This book had me captivated from beginning to end, and even when it ended, I found myself wishing for more. This book is definitely...
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