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How Green Was My Valley

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And, if you're me, you're having trouble seeing them because the tears are welling up so quickly and so close together. There are electrifying passages, scintillating sentences, and all this time, there is a certain music in the background, a slow buzzing that means something. Dada is the undisputed figure of silent authority in the family who did not hide his fondness for his wife and children, especially Huw. It was in this mood that I began to browse for novels that deal with the theme of remembrance and the inevitable sense of loss that comes with it.

BUT, it just felt so incredibly slow for most of the book, and I found the self righteousness of the characters (and of the time) to grow stale and repetitive. I joke (but, of course, I'm not really joking at all) that I can only read it once every decade, because the contents are too beautiful and too painful for everyday wear. Huw readily agreed due partly to the close relationship that he enjoyed with Bronwen since she joined the family, but mostly to the love he had had for Bronwen since he was 6.There are plenty of lovely moments in the story—from Huw winning a prize as a child to getting his very first suit; older brother Ivor getting a chance to meet the queen (I’ll leave you to find out for what), to even simple pleasures like Huw taken by Mr Gruffydd the preacher to see the first daffodils when he is ill. Loved the Welsh brogue, it added to the atmosphere and really gave the tight knit community a genuine feel. Do also visit Brona’s interesting piece about the controversies around Llewellyn’s claimed heritage and knowledge/experience (I’m still counting this for Dewithon as it’s set in Wales …).

A world of simple people, simpler lives, great food, family, values and a connection to nature that has since then been completely lost. How Green Was My Valley is available on DVD from 20th Century Fox as part of their 20th Century Fox Studio Classics collection. We know right off the bat that they were a mining family in Wales, at a time when the living had not become too hard for miners. I also hated Gruffydd for not fighting for Angharad, if he had trusted her and had faith in her (and himself) he could have saved them both from a soulless existence, instead they both ended up depressed and lonely. There was no real solid plot, just Huw looking back at his family, and the many changes/ups and downs he (and his family) had to face.

It is a terrific novel that forces the reader to think about the people and experiences in life that has brought them to this moment in time. I will say it was lovely, because it was so green and fresh and clean, with wind from off the fields and dews from the mountain. Did the Morgan family ever reunite or keep in contact with each other or did they stay apart their whole lives?

Like me he was obviously proud of his Welsh heritage, so I’m not sure why he had to dress it up in any other way. Favorite Quote: The man is made of stone who will see a woman in her tears and keep voice and hands to himself. Richard Llewellyn’s classic, How Green Was My Valley (1939) is a multi- layered book—a coming of age tale, a story of family and relationships, of life in a small mining town in Southern Wales, of simpler times gone by, of the unions, the conditions in which miners lived and worked, of tensions between the Welsh and English, of language politics, and much more.and I just want to scream inside because I've felt EXACTLY that way before and never been able to process it into such perfect words. My mother had died by then, and my grandmother died before I was born so I never met my grandmother; I think the book made me feel closer to that part of the family. A few times in my reading life I have been so been so touched by a book that when it is over I feel a great loss and literally clasp the book to my chest like a loved-one just departed. Gradually however I found myself thinking about several others who featured in other earlier periods of my life, my childhood friends from primary school, the ones I had at boarding school, at university, and most of all, my family. Many a fantasy novel captured my imagination, but a work of historical fiction set only a few decades in the past?

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