(My Rating: 5/5)
I picked up this book when I saw it at a book sale (according to the date I have written in the book, it was in 2003) because my mother had told me that it was my grandfather’s favourite book (and movie).
Thanks to my reading challenge for this year I am finally reading it, 13 years later!
The story is set in a mining town in South Wales and is told in the first person by Huw Morgan who is recounting the events of his life from the time he was a little boy. It speaks of a time when things like morals and values still counted for something and doing things to the best of your ability and for the right reasons were something people took pride in.
There are so many things I loved about the book, but in a nutshell, it is a book about the importance of family, standing up for what is true and just, making sacrifices for the sake of loved ones, always choosing to do the right thing, staying strong and loyal in trying times and finally it is a book about what it means to be a real man and what it means to be a real woman.
But there is much, much more, and I could go on and on about how much this novel has to offer.
If you flip through my copy of the book, you will see lines and sections underlined and also little comments in the margins. That’s because there are sentences and sentences in this book that I want to keep coming back to and many instances that stirred deep emotions in me.
Most of all, I understand why this was my grandfather’s favourite book. My grandfather passed away when I was 16, so while I did know him, I never knew him while I was an adult. It fills me with pride that such a book was his favourite and I understand completely why it was and I feel a deep connection, through the book, to him. I am also glad that I have read it only now and not when I was younger. I don’t think that either in my teens or as a young adult I could possibly have appreciated the essence of the book as much.
This is one of the books that is going on my little son’s to-read shelf, to be read when he is of the right age. It is, I can say with certainty, one of my all time favourite books.