Thursday, 3 July 2008

61. Peter Ho Davies - The Welsh Girl

The Welsh Girl
Davies, Peter Ho
Paperback (BookRing)
No. of pages:
First sentence:
Outside, the technicolor sunset is giving way to the silvery sweep of searchlights over distant Cardiff as a hand tugs the blackout curtain across the sky.

I read this book because I'm interested in the social history of the Second World War. I'm not sure that 'enjoy' is quite the right word to describe the reading experience. The book seemed dark and grey, sinister in parts. But the stories - of a German Jew, a German POW and a Welsh woman - all entwined in a captivating manner. I tend to enjoy female characters more than male and found that the case here - I wish the loose ends of Esther's story hadn't been gathered so swiftly at the end of the book.

Much of the book is written in the present tense (presumably to differentiate from the flash-back scenes) and I found this a little strange, perhaps the narrative is set so firmly in the 1940s and they are most certainly the past.

I would recommend the book to anyone with an interest in the Second World War whether they're interested in military or social history as both sides are covered.


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