Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How Green Was My Valley - Richard Llewellyn

I admit this book was chosen because I had heard of it and I needed a book with "green" in the title for the Color-Coded Reading Challenge. Aside from the title, I knew nothing else about it, but now I know it's a book about a Victorian-era Welsh family of coal miners, who are living through a time of great upheaval in terms of the beginnings of the labor movement and unions, and workers trying to improve their working conditions, pay, etc. I found the book to be more absorbing and compulsively readable than I thought I would, and I enjoyed the narrator's voice. The writing has some beautiful turns of phrase and imagery, although it got just a little bit ponderous now and again. I also enjoyed the Welsh rhythm to the narration, although of course its written in English. Welsh is a really cool language; if you need proof, go to YouTube and search for "Ioan Gruffydd on Graham Norton speaking Welsh" and see for yourself. Overall I am glad I read this book and I would recommend it as a classic.

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