‘The supreme interpreter of Welsh life.’
Hannah Ellis is thirty-five, unmarried and still living at Y Glyn, the family farm in Wales where she has been brought up by her mother and step-father, a forbidding man with a powerful hold on the neighbourhood. Loving her country, yet resenting the egotism of her family, she yearns for the return of her long-banished brother Philip, believing that he will rescue her from this bleak existence. But Hannah little realises that Philip’s arrival is imminent, and is to herald enormous changes as he unwittingly ignites the passions and strengths of an unusually intertwined community.
About the author:
Emyr Humphreys was born at Trelawnyd in Flintshire, and attended the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, before registering as a conscientious objector at the outbreak of the Second World War. After the war he worked as a teacher, a drama lecturer at Bangor, and as a BBC producer. During his long bilingual writing career, he has published over twenty novels, which include such classics as A Toy Epic (1958), Outside the House of Baal (1965), and The Land of the Living, an epic sequence of seven novels charting the political and cultural history of twentieth-century Wales: Flesh and Blood; The Best of Friends; Salt of the Earth; An Absolute Hero; Open Secrets; National Winner, and Bonds of Attachment. He has also written plays for stage and television, short stories, The Taliesin Tradition (a cultural history of Wales), and published his Collected Poems in 1999. Among many honours, he has been awarded The Somerset Maugham Prize, The Hawthornden Prize, and the Welsh Book of the Year Award.
‘My dear Philip,’ he said, ‘you mustn’t get bitter.’
He was all right. These were his rooms, oak-panelling, books, sherry and all the time in the world.
‘Bitter,’ I said. ‘You’d be bitter if you were me.’