The Welsh Girl Paperback – 27 Dec 2007
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'A beautifully crafted, lyrical novel' (Maggie O'Farrell, Observer Books of the Year)
'Moving, memorable and beautifully written' (Jessica Mann, Sunday Telegraph)
'Deeply felt and vividly imagined' (Lionel Shriver, Daily Telegraph)
'Fresh and engaging...Some sentences and passages are crafted so beautifully and seemingly effortlessly that it provokes envy.' (David Cornett, Sunday Express)
'Quietly powerful... a fine piece of work (Stephen Knight, Times Literary Supplement)
'His prose and the evocation of time and place are almost always of the highest order...he approaches the Second World War with a fresh and contemporary style, a gift that he shares with Kazuo Ishiguro' (Russell Celyn Jones, The Times)
'A scintillating instance of fictional imagination applied to history' (Richard Eder, New York Times)
'Impressive...a compelling story in itself, but Davies's special skill lies in integrating conflicts that drive the narrative at a more intense level' (Richard Gwyn, Independent)
deft and graceful (Good Book Guide)
The acclaimed first novel from one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists 2003, a powerful tale of love, war and divided loyaltiesSee all Product description
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The isolated village, with its anti-war, anti-English bigotry, gives an insight into the Welsh character which is still relevant today. Esther Evans, 17 years old, living with her widowed father on a sheep farm, finds the sudden influx of English Sappers, drafted in to build a camp for German prisoners, more than a distraction. But when they leave and the prisoners arrive, Esther finds herself drawn towards Karsten, a soldier only a year older than herself. Shunned by the other inmates for choosing to save his men by surrender, Karsten is tormented by what he sees as his own cowardice. There are some good characterisations here and a fine sense of period. Jim, the young English evacuee, whose acceptance by the local children is hard won. Karsten himself and Captain Rotheram, whose circumstances have set him so far apart that he can't find his place in the world. Overall, this is a story about relationships and how the conditions of conflict can test and damage even the most resolute. An interesting subject, well presented.
That said, it's a well written book and covers an interesting perspective on a well-versed era of British history. It was OK, but I wouldn't recommend to friends.