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Reviewed on Richard & Judy on Wednesday 12 March 2008.
This is a story about love, loyalties and displacement. The three main characters all so different and yet linked by the sense of dislocation. Esther yearns to leave her sleepy village for a life with more excitement, Rotherham, is a German Jewish refugee who no longer knows where in the world he fits in and Karston is struggling with his feelings of honour after surrendering himself and his men to the English. Ho Davies captures the helplessness of each character as the war wields its devastating effects on them but also shows strong characters who will not allow their circumstances to destroy them.
In 1944, a German Jewish refugee is sent to Wales to interview Rudolf Hess; in Snowdonia, a seventeen-year-old girl, the daughter of a fiercely nationalistic shepherd, dreams of the bright lights of an English city; and in a nearby POW camp, a German soldier struggles to reconcile his surrender with his sense of honour. As their lives intersect, all three will come to question where they belong and where their loyalties lie.
Peter Ho Davies's thought-provoking and profoundly moving first novel traces a perilous wartime romance as it explores the bonds of love and duty that hold us to family, country, and ultimately our fellow man. Vividly rooted in history and the landscape, The Welsh Girl, reminds us anew of the pervasive presence of the past, and the startling intimacy of the foreign.
'A memorable writer of sinewy intelligence and rare grace.' David Mitchell
'Deeply compelling and utterly uncompromising... each sentence is a pleasure. This book is a rare gem' - Claire Messud
Publication date: 27/12/2007
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
|Publication date:||27th December 2007|
|Author:||Peter Ho Davies|
|Publisher:||Hodder & Stoughton General Division|
|Genres:||Debuts of the Month, eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction, Reading Groups,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
Born in Coventry in 1966 to a Welsh Farmer and a Chinese Mother, Peter Ho Davies was raised in England and spent his summers in Wales. He gained a degree in Physics at the University of Manchester before going on to study English Literature at Cambridge. Subsequently, he worked in publishing before moving to the US, where he gained an MA in Creative Writing at Boston University. Peter Ho Davies's first collection of stories, The Ugliest House in the World, won the John Llewellyn Rhys and PEN/Macmillan awards while his second collection, Equal Love, was shortlisted for the Los Angeles ...More About Peter Ho Davies