Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Book Review- How Green was My Valley

For the monthly key word challenge, the mount TBR pile challenge, and the TBR pile challenge and the Classics Club I read Richard Lewellyn's novel How Green was My Valley.
Synopsis from Goodreads: Growing up in a mining community in rural South Wales, Huw Morgan is taught many harsh lessons. Looking back, where difficult days are faced with courage and the valleys swell with the sound of Welsh voices, it becomes clear that there is nowhere so green as the landscape of his own memory.
How Green was My Valley was truly a beautifully written book. I'm a fast reader so normally beautiful writing kind of goes past me but I found myself stopping several times to admire the beauty of Lewellyn's writing.
The way the story was written, with the book starting with Huw, now a grown man, looking back on his life growing up, was very interesting and different. I would have to agree with other reviews that I've read and say that I liked Huw better as a child. I was surprised to see sexual undertones in the writing. When I talked to my mom about the film version of it which she really likes, I found that those were entirely left out of it. I haven't seen the film version but I understand from my mother that they don't have the miners striking either... an aspect I consider important to the storyline. I'm not sure how I feel about the sexual undertones in the book. Some of them I find okay but others I find unnecessary. Truth is, a kid could probably read it and not get them.
The synopsis on the back of the copy I read referred to Huw's father as a tyrannical but kind father. I thought that was really weird because I liked his dad and he never struck me as tyrannical in any way.
My favorite character was Bronwen, Huw's sister-in-law. She was sweet, kind and devoted. I loved that Huw could always go to her with his concerns and she answered him in love.
All my ramblings to say I enjoyed the book and I found it beautifully reminiscent and thought provoking. It's a hard book for me to review, kind of like Gone With the Wind, but I did like it. :)

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  1. I've never read this book or seen the movie, even though the movie's really famous, because I've been told it's awfully sad and I usually hate sad stories . . . But part of me wants to watch it because I've also heard Maureen O'Hara was really incredible as Angharad. Maybe someday. Or maybe I'll just get clips on YouTube and watch those.

    1. Maureen O'Hara is such a great actress I'd watch the movie just for her!

  2. I didn't think the dad was tyrannical either, but you can't always trust a synopsis! I've got a copy of Pride and Prejudice where the blurb talks about 'the heroine, Lydia Bennet' :/ Interesting you compared it with Gone with the Wind as well - I always think of them as similar, I think because they both span so much time and kind of draw you into the world and the community :)

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