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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating account of life in Wales, 13 July 2004
L O'connor (richmond, surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This charming book is divided into two parts. In the first part Alice Thomas Ellis tells of her own childhood in north Wales. She writes about the slugs in the lavatory "all slimy, revolting and with a baleful air". She tells us of the horse who was frightened of seaweed, of attending the local Chapel, and playing on the clinker pile outside the laundry, and of how she was expelled from Bangor Girls School. Interwoven with the reminiscenses are stories of Welsh history and folklore, of witches and ghosts and dancers turned into stone. The second part of the book tells of her adult life as a mother coping with four young sons and their friends in a remote farmhouse. Her account of struggling to keep the hordes of children fed and clothed left me quite faint with exhaustion. However did she do it? She had some help from Alfie, who readers of her Home Life books will be familiar with, she caught him as a child raiding her house, and he never left, becoming a help in the hazardous country life. "In winter it was so cold that the turkey could sit frozen in the pantry for weeks" she explains calmly, going on to describe how she took the baby out in a pushchair roped to a sledge. I am amazed and admiring of her hardiness every time I read this book, while regretfully acknowledging that after a couple of hours in the same situation I'd be screaming to go home. This edition is illustrated throughout with striking and evocative black and white photographs which complement the text perfectly.
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A Welsh Childhood (Cascades)
A Welsh Childhood (Cascades) by Alice Thomas Ellis (Hardcover - 22 Jan 1995)
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