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How Green Was My Valley, 1940 Hardcover – 1940
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As I matured, each reading of How Green Was My Valley brought o deeper understanding, more appreciation of the book's lyrical language that captured the tone of the Welsh tongue, and most of all, a love of those characters who bring a noble story to life. All through my life I found myself remembering the names of even the most minor characters, rolling the strange syllables on my tongue, tearing up as I brought their piece of the story to mind.
This book has lived its life inside my head as no other piece of literature has, teaching me in moments of clarity the author's clear message of human nature in its best and worst moments. This marvelous book is a necessary addition to the library of anyone who loves good literature, who loves language, who develops a bond with literary characters who jump off the page to live forever in a reader's heart. It is not for someone who wants something to skim while waiting for an appointment. This book is worth the attention and the work. It isn't work like diving into Moby Dick, don't get me wrong. However, the reader should be aware that the effort into entering this world, this culture, is challenging. And worth the challenge. In no time at all, a willing reader is submerged in this world that is both foreign and familiar, full of people and customs we want to know.
I have been blessed with a friend, an 82 year old Welsh woman, a storyteller with a touch of Llewelyn in her soul. I have learned her family story as we have been writing partners over the last nearly 20 years. When she tells a story about her coal miner father or her formidable mother, she slips into the lilting, lyrical tones of the Welsh speaking English and the words of the book become even more wonderful, clear and musical in my mind. She sings the songs her father sang, songs the men in the book sang as they returned home from the mine, covered in sweat and coal dust and proud to bring home their pay to their wives. Eileen's family came from the valley of the book and were spared the worst of the unrest because her mother had the sense to see the disaster that was coming. My friend's family left the valley when she was 5. She grew up in London, survived the Blitz, became an American in the 1950's and turned up in Montana in time to become my friend. Yet even now, when she speaks of home, home is her valley in Wales, a real place steeped in an nostalgia that travels back through the years to a place and a time that now lives only in the pages of How Green Was My Valley and the minds of those who still remember..
Join those of us who love this book in discovering a blue collar town filled with men and women of noble heart and soul. Welcome to our beautiful valley.
I probably would have missed it otherwise. A true gem, much deeper than the award winning movie (which aint bad
itself). The Welch language and memorable characters have stayed with me. I have read it half a dozen times
and hope to read it that many more. A book I have given to countless friends and family and it never fails
The writing is exactly how the people in the South Wales valleys speak.
A lot of the storyline is true eg. The Deacons of the Chapel ostracising a young unmarried girl....but it was the colliery owners that had the sovereigns not the miners.
The descriptions of the valleys before and after the slag heaps is beautiful...as are the actual valleys now that the heaps have been removed.
It made me a little homesick.
Now that i have read the book I am going to search for the film and any other books by this author.
I have now seen the film......I'm glad I read the book first as the film misses out a lot of the story. if I had seen the film first I would never have picked up the book and I would have missed the beautiful language in the book.
I would recommend the book but not the film.