Having read the first book (The awakening) I approached this second volume with great enthusiasm. I was looking forward to finding out how Raymond Williams would bring his story of landscapes and locations I know up to date from the time of the Romans.
The book continues the theme of a young man in search of his grandfather (not father as I wrongly noted in my review of book 1!) As in the first book this search is essentially a device to link different short historical episodes together. This device is employed less in this second volume and, coupled with this, the individual stories didn't all hold my attention as keenly. I also felt that a 'non-native' reader could struggle with the changing variety of British, Saxon and Welsh names as these gave life to the unfolding history (the changing names were clearly vital to Williams as an expression of culture).
Immediately after completing my reading I felt both that it had been worthwhile because of the depth of research and engagement evident in the storytelling and also disappointed that it was an incomplete endeavor. The book was completed only in 'summary' form by Raymond Williams' wife after he had died and this had inevitable consequences. I will read it again.