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The Withered Root

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  10 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Recounting the protagonist's troubled life, this tale tells the story of Reuben Daniels, reared in a South Wales industrial valley in the bosom of the Nonconformist culture. Therein lies his downfall and that of his people in this chronicle of utter oppostition to Welsh Nonconformity. Throughout the account, Revivalist passions create a perverse outlet for an all-too-human ...more
Paperback, 345 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Parthian Books (first published 2007)
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The Withered Root is, like Queen of the Rushes by Allen Raine, a story of the Welsh Revival -- the renewal of religious feeling in the people of Wales. Like Queen of the Rushes, it seems half-disgusted by the excess of feeling it all stirred up, the wildness of it, and the hypocrisy. The Revival brings out senseless madness in so many of the people in these two books, rather than any true religious feeling.

Rhys Davies was supposed to be better at short stories than novels, but I've enjoyed both.
David Grieve
This is simply a wonderful story, beautifully written.

It is a novel based on the Welsh religious revival of 1904. The real life Evan Roberts is portrayed here as Reuben Daniels who as a young man working in the pit discovers his calling via the Corinthians, a nonconformist sect. His ability to preach and convert makes him a star attraction and soon people are flocking to see him. His fellow preachers soon want to develop his work and take their meetings out of the Valleys and across Wales.

He is
Justin Griffiths-Bell
Really enjoyed reading this book, I did. Although speak in exaggerated Welsh sentence constructions I am now, which like Yoda you are reading. The dialogue can be a little grating at first, but if you have a strong Welsh accent in your mind, as you read, and you imagine that you are reading the rendering of speech from Cymraeg to English, then it is not nearly so bad as Dickens attempts at regional accents, or DH Lawrence.
The story is more subtle than the blurb on Amazon suggests. If you are so
Jess Gofton
Had to proof read this for my internship today. Not impressed. Would not recommend.

The only good thing about this book was the ending because a) it ended and b) (view spoiler)
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“I have noticed, especially in Wales, that religious people eat substantially before a service and also as substantially when they come back to supper. I am not sarcastic; it is pure intellectual curiosity. Does listening to the service, the hymns, the sermon, and the praying, create a stomachic void that the worshipper tries to guard against before the service - though ineffectually it seems, judging by the supper afterwards - or is that void created by loss of psychic force through actual worship, the strain of trying to establish connection with spiritual things?” 1 likes
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