Apr 13, 2015

Welsh Week: About Elin by Jackie Davies

Elin Pritchard, ex-firebrand, ex-Welsh Nationalist, is back home for her brother's funeral. Returning brings all sorts of emotions to the fore, memories good and bad, her own and those of the community she left behind. The neat, tidy, be-suited redhead in the second pew passes almost unrecognised at first, so different is the woman from the girl. Also present is another redhead, a young man, eerily like the deceased in looks and bearing – but who is he, whose secrets does he carry in every fibre of his being…?

As each of the mourners loses themselves in thoughts of Gareth Pritchard and his family, a picture begins to emerge of the girl Elin used to be and the woman she is now, and of the future she might now be brave enough to face, even without the support of her beloved big brother.

A haunting novel of love and loss.

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Elin is back in the village she grew up in. It's the first time in many years and she isn't there because of the living. Her brother Gareth has passed away and she's there to attend his funeral. Even though Gareth and Elin were close and kept in touch on a regular basis Elin meets his family for the first time. She's never even seen his children, who are her godchildren. Why has she stayed away and what are the secrets of this very talented woman who's traveled the world? People are talking. Elin used to be a Welsh Nationalist, but she's lost her language and only speaks English now. She's a fancy, elegant woman who is so different from the rebel teen she used to be. How did that happen?

The story about Elin is being told in a very special way. The point of view changes in every chapter. Each time it's someone else who knows Elin. Through them the reader is getting information about this fabulous woman. I wanted to know what happened to her and the ending was a real surprise. This isn't a light read, it's a heavy, fascinating story and it's such a good book. The writing is so clever and the story is interesting and moving. I was curious to know everything I could about this mysterious woman and Jackie Davies delivers. She's such a great author. I highly recommend this book, it's fantastic.

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