The Welsh Girl

The Welsh Girl From the acclaimed writer Peter Ho Davies comes an engrossing wartime love story set in the stunning landscape of North Wales during the final harrowing months of World War II Young Esther Evans has

  • Title: The Welsh Girl
  • Author: Peter Ho Davies
  • ISBN: 9780618007004
  • Page: 366
  • Format: Hardcover
  • From the acclaimed writer Peter Ho Davies comes an engrossing wartime love story set in the stunning landscape of North Wales during the final, harrowing months of World War II Young Esther Evans has lived her whole life within the confines of her remote mountain village The daughter of a fiercely nationalistic sheep farmer, Esther yearns for a taste of the wider world tFrom the acclaimed writer Peter Ho Davies comes an engrossing wartime love story set in the stunning landscape of North Wales during the final, harrowing months of World War II Young Esther Evans has lived her whole life within the confines of her remote mountain village The daughter of a fiercely nationalistic sheep farmer, Esther yearns for a taste of the wider world that reaches her only through broadcasts on the BBC Then, in the wake of D day, the world comes to her in the form of a German POW camp set up on the outskirts of Esther s village The arrival of the Germans in the camp is a source of intense curiosity in the local pub, where Esther pulls pints for both her neighbors and the unwelcome British guards One summer evening she follows a group of schoolboys to the camp boundary As the boys heckle the prisoners across the barbed wire fence, one soldier seems to stand apart He is Karsten Simmering, a German corporal, only eighteen, a young man of tormented conscience struggling to maintain his honor and humanity To Esther s astonishment, Karsten calls out to her These two young people from worlds apart will be drawn into a perilous romance that calls into personal question the meaning of love, family, loyalty, and national identity The consequences of their relationship resonate through the lives of a vividly imagined cast of characters the drunken BBC comedian who befriends Esther, Esther s stubborn father, and the resentful young British evacuee who lives on the farm even the German Jewish interrogator investigating the most notorious German prisoner in Wales, Rudolf Hess Peter Ho Davies has been hailed for his all encompassing empathy that is without borders Elle That trancendent compassion shines through The Welsh Girl, a novel that is both thought provoking and emotionally enthralling.

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      Peter Ho Davies

    About Author

    1. Peter Ho Davies is a contemporary British writer of Welsh and Chinese descent He was born and raised in Coventry Davies studied physics at Manchester University then English at Cambridge University.In 1992 he moved to the United States as a professor of creative writing He has taught at the University of Oregon and Emory University and is now on the faculty of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.He has published two collections of short fiction, The Ugliest House in the World 1998 and Equal Love 2000 His first novel, The Welsh Girl came out in 2007.Davies is a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.

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    The Welsh Girl Comment

    1. Onvan The Welsh Girl Nevisande Peter Ho Davies ISBN 618007008 ISBN13 9780618007004 Dar 352 Safhe Saal e Chap 2007


    2. The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies is set in a Welsh village near the end of WWII Davies splendidly sets his story against the backdrop of WWII without weighing it down with too much action or too many war terms It is also set against a pastoral countryside so there are very lyrical and elegant passages There s also a love story between the Welsh girl and the German POW, but it goes beyond that.What s most intriguing about this story is that it is driven by the characters actions and development [...]


    3. I loved this book It was a little slow going at first and the first 20 30 pages I had to half push myself into Then I got caught up in the story The language used is beautiful, some sentences so perfect they hurt, but at the same time it doesn t distract at all from the story being told This is a book I read at first primarily for the story and now I want to reread again for the subtle nuances I missed But it makes me think and it makes me happy and I love the characters not just how they are dr [...]


    4. My interest was held by this historical fiction novel set in England at and after DDay Several really good characters and two stories interwoven one in a Welsh village with all its touchy locals the incomer English and the other about the determination of Rudolph Hess s sanity The best and most compelling character is Karsten, a German POW captured by surrender on DDAY who was eventually held in a POW camp in the insular Welsh village He was a very sympathetic character, surprisingly so His inte [...]


    5. In a small village in North Wales in 1944, seventeen year old Esther works behind the bar at the Quarryman s Arms with her boss, Jack Her father, a sheep farmer, spends his evenings in the pub s Welsh speaking public bar, while the lounge side of the pub is full of Englishmen sappers mostly, soldiers who were sent to this out of the way place to build something secretive Esther has been seeing one of these sappers, a young man called Colin it is the closest she can get to her dreams of seeing th [...]


    6. This novel is about conflicts of nation, loyalty, and identity Novels trying to construct this kind of story sometimes become cliche, but this one has a very sincere tone that is refreshing English intelligence officer Rotherham has trouble dealing with his German Jewish heritage A German officer surrenders under heavy fire, is sent to a camp in Wales, and begins to see the uncertainties of his life overall A young Welsh woman wonders where the definitions are set enemy traitor fatherland And wh [...]


    7. There were a lot of things I really liked about this book There were beautiful lyrical descriptions of life in Wales during the war, with particularly interesting comments on national loyalties The Welsh girl at the centre of the story was a very interesting character, and everyone in the story was very believable However I kept waiting for the connection with the story about Hess to become clear and when it did it was really a very slight connection There were some wonderful little scenes with [...]


    8. Peter Ho Davies debut novel, The Welsh Girl, is an historical fiction set in the latter half of World War II in a remote village in Wales The construction of a secret camp causes much excitement in the village, particularly for Esther, a young barmaid who has fallen for one of the English soldiers tasked with building the camp The dalliance is particularly volatile because Esther s father is a staunch Nationalist who views the English as nothing than Anglo oppressors Esther s solider, Collin, p [...]


    9. You d think I d have learned by now that just because a book was nominated for the Man Booker prize doesn t mean I ll like it Even though it got good reviews when it was first published several years ago, and even though many other readers have raved about it, and even though the description sounded interesting and even though it had been recommended to me, I just didn t like it I probably should have put it aside right away because it didn t take long for me to realize that I just wasn t gettin [...]


    10. Well written, cinematically rendered WWII novel of interwoven stories of a 17 year old Welsh barmaid and daughter of a sheep rancher, a German POW who surrendered, and a British interrogator who is a German Jew Very interesting exploration of cowardice, pride, dislocation, and nationalism with well fleshed out characters and vivid scenes.


    11. The Welsh Girl has been following me around Even before I finished the book, I found myself thinking about it in the same way a tune runs unbidden through your brain I m still fascinated by the meaning of the title of this piece, but I m not going to explain it here You ll have to read the book to get it It s said that there are often writers who are novelists, others who are short story writers, and that the crossover can be difficult It s also said that Raymond Carver tried all his career to w [...]


    12. 1 2This just didn t wow me and as obsessed as I am with all things Welsh right now, that is disappointing First, the description of the book here and elsewhere feels like it was written by someone who didn t read the book Secondly, I found Esther to be mildly irritating and only interested in men Maybe that would have been handled differently by a female author Maybe I m being too critical And finally, the most compelling part of the story to me actually had little to nothing to do with the main [...]


    13. Not the usual war romance story More thought provoking than I expected The standard views on belonging, courage and cowardice, freedom and captivity are upended and re examined Will keep thinking about this one for a while.



    14. Why Why Why I really, really tried with this book I ve been having trouble finding a good book, and I pinned a lot of hopes on this one Alas, it wasn t meant to be I love WW2 fiction, but this one just didn t cut it for me Hopefully, one of my other library books I checked out will be the golden ticket I need.


    15. This is a beautifully written book that pulls together the stories of Esther the Welsh Girl who lives in a small town in the North Wales Mountains, Karsten a German POW who gets sent to the camp that has been built in the mountains beside the town, and of Rotheram a German Jew who is sent to mid Wales to interview interrogate Rudolph Hess while battling his own demons although this is only a small part of the overall story Some have said the book is slow to start but I honestly didn t feel that [...]


    16. The Welsh GirlPeter Ho Davies2008NUTSHELL Two plots one plot enough plot This one s of a 5.Who s the Welsh Girl That would be Esther Evans, living in Wales in the 1940s Her sweetheart s off to war and she and her father have an evacuee child Esther also works as a barmaid in town.What s her plot view spoiler She falls in love with a prisoner of war named Karsten.But that s not so awful Um World War II And the POW is German right I can see where that d be a conflict Good But that s not the worst [...]


    17. Interesting Unique Holds it s own in such a full library of World War II historical fiction It really is different from a lot of other WWII stories out there, which I really appreciated and kept me reading It was also his writing that kept me truly engaged I can t even put my finger on it, but something sucked me into this book and kept me there until suddenly I turned the last page, looked up and wondered where the time had gone.A couple of times I think Davies lost control of his novel A few t [...]


    18. This was a great book that I raced through and couldn t put down I ve read about a hundred good reviews of it and no one seems to have a bad word to say about it at this point I would be disappointed if it doesn t at least make the shortlist It s the third book I ve read from this year s longlist, and so far it s my favourite.The setting is the end of the second world war, the location is a small remote village in Wales and the central character is really Esther, the Welsh girl of the title Esth [...]


    19. I enjoyed reading The Welsh Girl This is one of those books which covers the three E s for this reader It educates, enlightens and entertains I admit to knowing very little about the isle of Wales before I read this book I love it when I come away from a read with a better sense of place and a small understanding of a culture to which I was unaware When a book broadens my horizons I am a happy reader.The theme of being captive runs deep through this novel The obvious, the German soldier Karsten [...]


    20. I always hesitate to read WWII books or any books on war for that matter I always think they are going to be depressing, dry or too violent, but usually I m pleasantly surprise when I take the time to read one The Welsh Girl was one of those that pleasantly surprised me.The first couple of pages prologue were a bit dry, but I was glad that I pushed through it because I discovered a gem when I got to Esther s perspective of the story The book follows the perspective of three characters Roth, Esth [...]


    21. A warts and all depiction of small town welsh mountain life in the second world war Great novel but his short stories are better.He is interested in identity and barriers between races not surprising, as a welsh chinese writer brought up in England In The Welsh Girl, barriers between races keep on crumbling He got interested when he discovered that in real life, several German prisoners stayed on in Wales after the war and married local girls I know a few stories like this from the part of Wales [...]


    22. This novel will haunt the reader long after closing the book That s what the Oregonian had to say about this story, and what I think they meant by that statement was it will haunt the reader that they wasted even one moment on the book The storyline sounded promising Welsh girl is drawn to a camp of POW s near her village Makes you think of the young story of The Summer of My German Soldier, right Nope Quite a few story lines that could have been a success, but instead, left me feeling like noth [...]


    23. I enjoyed this book told from the lives of a remote farming village in Wales in the second world war I didn t know that German POWs were kept in Wales either so I gained a small understanding of the two alien lives depicted here Peter Ho Davies writing style and his sensitive portrayal of the effect that decisions made from rulers and how they affect communities in such a profound but personal way was entirely credible This wasn t a story with a deep plot but it did make you think of where enemy [...]


    24. Super read Set towards the end of WW2 in a remote Welsh village, Esther is 17 and pulling pints for the sheep farmers and English soldiers building a POW camp She longs for romance and makes an appalling mistake with the vile Colin German Karsten, agonising over his surrender at D Day is a touching and noble character and provides real tenderness for Esther Complex themes of love and loyalty, loss and grief, responsibility and betrayal beautifully written.


    25. Although a little clunky in places, and a rad clich d and formulaic I really enjoyed this simple tale of a girl growing up in my little corner of North Wales during the war The narrative is simple but descriptions of the places I grew up playing were fantastically poignant I would recommend this as an insight into rural north Wales in the early 1940 s.


    26. I loved the story line about Rotherham, the interrogator of Hess Esther s conflicts, however, seemed to be a story I ve already read in another novel in many other novels , dressed up in beautiful language.


    27. Wales, just after D day A POW camp A young barmaid The investigation of Rudolph Hess, who fled Germany, only to be incarcerated late in Wales Two stories, interwoven, interesting and full.


    28. It s quite interesting to read The Welsh Girl a couple of months after reading The Fortunes, a book that Davies wrote almost ten years later It s clear that the same big themes have motivated him for a long time.One of the things that I felt most strongly here was that, no matter how downtrodden one might feel, one can always find someone else to feel superior to The Welsh who hate the British The children of the striking miners forty years earlier who still won t have anything to do with the ch [...]


    29. I went book shopping on my fiction shelves at home a few months back to read something on there I d received as a gift and not yet read, and chose The Welsh Girl This lovely and loving coming of age tale in WWII Wales is grounded in a deep sense of place captured with reference to the Welsh word cynefin She d heard this word before, of course, but the importance of the concept had escaped her as a child Now Arthur spelled it out How it would be impossible to farm on the open mountain if the floc [...]


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