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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 29 August 2012
Wilfred Price is a gentle and perceptive look at small town life. From the beginning the reader feels a sympathy for the principal characters and a certain forboding which makes us want to turn the page. A delightful and compelling read.
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on 23 March 2012
I've thoroughly enjoyed this book. There is something delightfully quirky about the writing style. The characters manage to be eccentric, yet in a very believeable and human way.
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on 6 August 2012
I loved this book! The context and the quality of the storytelling make it a compelling read. I am anxiously awaiting the sequel!
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VINE VOICEon 7 July 2012
This book is set in 1924, in rural Wales. Wilfred Price is a young undertaker, living with his father. On a picnic, he proposes to a girl he hardly knows. Instantly regretting it, he's nonetheless caught up in a series of events.

I don't want to go into the story or the characters, as they are best left to unfold naturally throughout the story. The importance is in how the book is written. It's written in a rather gentle way, which to me completely reflected the behaviours and feelings of the characters. This is a quiet village, where people are very careful of the way they act and speak, and emotions and secrets are kept very much to themselves.

There are emotions and secrets which are explored throughout the book - there are difficult issues involved, but they are handled delicately.

For me, the first half of the book felt slow, but there was something about the characters which kept me reading. It was definitely worth continuing, and it became one of those books which I picked up whenever I could, just to read a bit more.

If you allow it to, this is a book which will charm you, and surprise you.
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on 27 March 2012
This is a captivating and life-affirming book set in a very atmospheric south-west Wales of the 1920s.

The characters find themselves living in a world where silence on matters of the soul is an over-riding norm. In the course of the book they discover that speaking up is an act of courage which can change the course of their lives and that it carries risks but ultimately gives them control over their lives.

The innocence of the characters is charmingly reflected in the simplicity of the storytelling. There is also a wonderful eye for detail and the lilt of the language jumps off the page in the dialogue.

Wendy Jones is described as a 'new author', but reading about her online it would be more accurate to say 'first time in print': she is reported to have written more than 20 unpublished novels. I hope we see many more of those in the years to come.
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on 26 April 2012
Can't wait to read more in this series and by Wendy Jones. Such a fresh take and vocabulary and something authentically 20s in setting and style of language and content.
This book is about the hopes and failures of seeking out love. Appearances must be kept up, practical solutions must be looked to and fitting into the set society is paramount, whatever the price.
Wilfred Price, the hero, is the old fashioned sort and agrees to marry Grace, as he had proposed on a heavenly dizzy beautiful day without realizing the consequences. Only through finding real love does the hero start to get creative at changing his situation. Sadly there is always a price to pay with broken hearts.

Beautifully set, the author clearly knows and loves Narbeth well.
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on 26 July 2012
This is the story of Wilfrid, who runs a funeral parlour in 1920s Wales. He makes an impetuous proposal to Grace, which she accepts, but he quickly changes his mind, However, he's forced to marry her anyway. I thought this book was very well written and in places very moving, every now and then a tear came into my eye. My reservations were with the character of Flora, "the other woman", who I thought was too sketchily drawn and not appealing. I read this book quickly and I'd look out for another one by Jones.
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Let it never be said that I don't try to read with an open mind, but I found this book indigestible. The horrible twinges began with title. Why use a word like "Happenings"? "Happenings" signified to me something beyond anyone's control, when everything is in fact in the control of the writer. One could almost hear the chuckling approach of twee. A thing that should be abhorred and avoided, and here I was with it bursting out all around me.

To say I did not enjoy it would be understating my case. It was an easy read because of the simplicity of the tale, but nothing about it rang true to me. The horrible betrayal at the heart of the book, and Grace's inability to tell the truth felt unjust, but only because I couldn't believe that Grace could be so stupid. As for Wilfred: talk about daft! it defied belief.

People may try to tell me that it was a different world back then (presumably, and going solely by the yellow dress, this took place in the fifties). Maybe it carries a taint of ridiculous propriety, especially to the extent that no one wanted to talk about what was happening, but the main taint it carries is one of incredulous stupidity committed by all concerned. If this is chick-lit, then I fear for the sanity of the women who read it.
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on 19 October 2013
Interesting book. Really enjoyed the beginning and middle of the book but found the end very very disappointing! Shame really as otherwise it was an interesting book
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on 4 March 2012
The book was beautifully written, with poetical descriptions. Wilfred Price is a delightful character with honest simplicity, but also intelligent.

The only downside are the errors! The Welsh names are either unheard of or incorrectly spelt for example Myfanwy has only one 'f' for the 'v' sound never two. Also 'Bore da' and not 'Bora da' especially in Narbeth! I just wish proof readers would seriously find and research properly. Where's the chapel in Pwllgwaelod? It's only a pub and a beach!
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