The Welsh Girl
Young Esther Evans has lived her whole life within the confines of her remote mountain village. The daughter of a fiercely nationalistic sheep farmer, Esther yearns for a taste of the wider world ...more
The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies is set in a Welsh village near the end of WWII. Davies splendidly sets his story against the backdrop of WWII without weighing it down with too much action or too many war terms. It is also set against a pastoral countryside so there are very lyrical and elegant passages. There’s also a love story between the Welsh girl and the German POW, but it goes beyond that.
What’s most intriguing about this story is that it is driven by the characters’ actions and...more
This just didn't wow me and as obsessed as I am with all things Welsh right now, that is disappointing. First, the description of the book here and elsewhere feels like it was written by someone who didn't read the book. Secondly, I found Esther to be mildly irritating and only interested in men. Maybe that would have been handled differently by a female author? Maybe I'm being too critical? And finally, the most compelling part of the story to me actually had little to nothing to do with ...more
It’s said that there are often writers who are novelists, others who are short story writers, and that the crossover can be difficult. It’s also said that Raymond Carver tried all his ...more
One other aspect of this book that I enjoyed was the barrage of new information I was introduced to: sheep farming, the Welsh history and geography, POW's, a man's point of view.
This book follows three characters stories, in a linear fashion, two of which converge. ...more
One of the things that I felt most strongly here was that, no matter how downtrodden one might feel, one can always find someone else to feel superior to. The Welsh who hate the British. The children of the striking miners (forty years earlier) who still won't have anything to do with ...more
Peter Ho Davies
NUTSHELL: Two plots - one plot = enough plot. This one's more of a 5.
Who's the Welsh Girl? That would be Esther Evans, living in Wales in the 1940s. Her sweetheart's off to war and she and her father have an evacuee child. Esther also works as a barmaid in town.
What's her plot? (view spoiler)[She falls in love with a prisoner of war named Karsten.
But that's not so awful. Um. World War II? And the POW is German?
...right. I can see where that'd be a conflict. Good. ...more
The main story of the Welsh girl and the men in her life brought a different aspect of WWII to light, showing that the Welsh natives did NOT consider ...more
This was a great book that I raced through and couldn't put down. I've read about a hundred good reviews of it and no one seems to have a bad word to say about it - at this point I would be disappointed if it doesn't at least make the shortlist. It's the third book I've read from this year's longlist, and so far it's my favourite.
The setting is the end of the second world war, the location is a small remote village in Wales and the central character is really Esther, the Welsh girl of the title....more
"She'd heard this word before, of course, but the importance of the concept had escaped her as a child. Now Arthur spelled it out. How it would be impossible to farm on the open mountain if ...more
The theme of being captive runs deep through this novel. The obvious, the German soldier ...more
The first couple of pages (prologue) were a bit dry, but I was glad that I pushed through it because I discovered a gem when I got to Esther’s perspective of the story. The book follows the perspective of three characters: ...more
In 1992 he moved to the United States as a professor of creative writing. He has taught at the University of Oregon and Emory University and is now on the faculty of the MFA Program in Creative ...more