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By Peter Ho Davies

In 1944, a German Jewish refugee is distributed to Wales to interview Rudolf Hess; in Snowdonia, a seventeen-year-old lady, the daughter of a fiercely nationalistic shepherd, desires of the intense lighting of an English urban; and in a close-by POW camp, a German soldier struggles to reconcile his give up together with his experience of honour. As their lives intersect, all 3 will come to question the place they belong and the place their loyalties lie.
Peter Ho Davies's thought-provoking and profoundly relocating first novel lines a dangerous wartime romance because it explores the bonds of affection and responsibility that carry us to kinfolk, nation, and finally our fellow guy. Vividly rooted in background and panorama, THE WELSH lady reminds us anew of the pervasive presence of the previous, and the startling intimacy of the international.

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Additional resources for The Welsh Girl

Sample text

When I was here all those years ago, in the time of the gods, the Cedars was a summer house, for rent by the fortnight or the month. During all of June each year a rich doctor and his large, raucous family infested it—we did not like the doctor’s loud-voiced children, they laughed at us and threw stones from behind the unbreachable barrier of the gate—and after them a mysterious middle-aged couple came, who spoke to no one, and grimly walked their sausage dog in silence at the same time every morning down Station Road to the strand.

She began to weep, absent-mindedly, it might be, making no sound. I moved clumsily to embrace her but she drew back sharply. ” she snapped. ” The kettle came to the boil and switched itself off and the seething water inside it settled down grumpily. I marvelled, not for the first time, at the cruel complacency of ordinary things. But no, not cruel, not complacent, only indifferent, as how could they be otherwise? Henceforth I would have to address things as they are, not as I might imagine them, for this was a new version of reality.

Meekly, however, I halted the car at the side of the road and she got out in a vexed silence and slammed the door behind her as if she were delivering me a box on the ear. What had I done to annoy her so? There are times when she is as wilfully moody as her mother. And then suddenly, unlikeliest of all, behind the huddle of the Lupins’ leprechaun houses, here was Duignan’s lane, rutted as it always was, ambling between tangled hedges of hawthorn and dusted-over brambles. How had it survived the depredations of lorry and crane, of diggers both mechanical and human?

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