The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies

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Synopsis

Set in the stunning landscape of North Wales just after D-Day, Peter Ho Davies’s profoundly moving first novel traces the intersection of disparate lives in wartime. When a POW camp is established near her village, seventeen-year-old barmaid Esther Evans finds herself strangely drawn to the camp and its forlorn captives. She is exploring the camp boundary when the astonishing occurs: Karsten, a young German corporal, calls out to her from behind the fence. From that moment on, the two foster a secret relationship that will ultimately put them both at risk. Meanwhile, another foreigner, the German-Jewish interrogator Rotherham, travels to Wales to investigate Britain's most notorious Nazi prisoner, Rudolf Hess. In this richly drawn and thought-provoking work, all will come to question where they belong and where their loyalties lie.
 

About Peter Ho Davies

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Peter Ho Davies is on the faculty of the graduate program in creative writing at the University of Michigan. His debut collection The Ugliest House in the World won the John Llewellyn Rhys and PEN/Macmillan awards in Britain. His second collection, Equal Love, was hailed by the New York Times Book Review for its “stories as deep and clear as myth.” It was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and a New York Times Notable Book. In 2003 Davies was named among the “Best of Young British Novelists” by Granta. The Welsh GIrl is his first novel. The son of a Welsh father and Chinese mother, Davies was raised in England and spent his summers in Wales. He is married and has one son.
 
Published August 16, 2013 by Mariner Books. 352 pages
Genres: History, Travel, War, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Welsh Girl

Kirkus Reviews

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An unlikely World War II romance is the subject of this ambitious first novel from the Welsh-Malaysian author of the story collections The Ugliest House in the World (1997) and Unequal Love (2000).

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Welsh Girl

The New York Times

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A farmer’s daughter meets a German P.O.W. in this World War II novel.

Feb 18 2007 | Read Full Review of The Welsh Girl

The New York Times

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“The Welsh Girl” is a distinguished, beautifully written example of a small but enduring genre. Call it the counterwar novel.

May 02 2007 | Read Full Review of The Welsh Girl

The Guardian

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The Welsh Girlby Peter Ho Davies 338pp, Sceptre, £12.99.

May 04 2007 | Read Full Review of The Welsh Girl

The Guardian

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The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies 338pp, Sceptre, £12.99 Peter Ho Davies's first novel is set in 1944, as the second world war grinds through its final year.

May 05 2007 | Read Full Review of The Welsh Girl

The Bookbag

The research could also have seemed forced, but it doesn’t – once or twice it may be presented in a visible way but on the whole the entire spread of settings – British soldiers with what still seem to be colonial parlours, Welsh farmsteads and pubs, and POW camps – are perfect in their realisation.

Jan 09 2011 | Read Full Review of The Welsh Girl

USA Today

If you loved The English Patient, there's probably a place in your heart for The Welsh Girl, an old-fashioned and slightly laconic first novel from Peter Ho Davies.

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London Review of Books

The local rumour mill is hard at work, grinding out speculation as to what or who the new base is for: commandos, Free French, Poles, Americans, ‘alpine troops training in the mountains for the invasion of Norway’.

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Bookmarks Magazine

Set in rural Wales toward the end of World War II, Peter Ho Davies’s first novel is a study of three characters whose lives intersect: 17-year-old Esther, who lives on a sheep farm with her father and moonlights as a barmaid;

Aug 07 2007 | Read Full Review of The Welsh Girl

BookBrowse

From the acclaimed writer Peter Ho Davies comes an engrossing wartime love ... That trancendent compassion shines through The Welsh Girl, a novel that is both .... Members read and review books often months before they're published.

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Reviews of Books

The Welsh Girl is set in the mountains of Wales in the waning days of World War II. Esther is the daughter of a nationalist sheep farmer and a part-time barmaid.

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Books And Movies

... Okay, I have waited way too long to write this review, and now I don't have anything detailed to say. I know I liked The Welsh Girl – especially the setting. ... I came to love Felix, and his innocence at the beginning of the book is ...

Sep 10 2013 | Read Full Review of The Welsh Girl

ReadySteadyBook

Karsten is a Nazi and making the modern day reader care about a Nazi is no easy feat, but care about Karsten the reader does as Karsten is stricken with one moral problem after another.

May 03 2007 | Read Full Review of The Welsh Girl

The Blurb

Instead, it’s me who’s a little Welsh now.” And so the scene is set for an exploration of the tensions between nations and people - English and Welsh, British and German, Jews and Nazis - and between individuals and their own expectations of themselves.

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New Welsh Review

Parry-Williams • Photo Essay by Joanna Hughes Photo essay and prose on the closure of the Burberry factory in Treorchy, south Wales Fiction • The Loser by Fatos Kongoli, translated by Robert Elsie and Janice Mathie-Heck • Martha, Jack & Shanco by Caryl Lewis, translated by Gwen Davies Poems

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Reader Rating for The Welsh Girl
70%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 71 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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