Martha, Jac a Sianco by Caryl Lewis : £6.95

This novel created quite a stir when it was first published, so I went to read it to see if it lived up to the hype, and I wasn't disapointed. The book is set in the counrtyside of Ceredigion and is full of powerful and memorable discriptions. The novels three main protagonists are, as the title suggests, Martha, Jac & Sianco, two brothers and a sister. The three are unmarried and still live on the family farm; Graig Ddu. We follow Martha, who works hard to keep the brothers happy, but underneath she's keeping a dark secrets, and Jac, the elder brother, who lives to farm until he meet Judy, an English woman who sees her chance to take advantage of him. Finally we have Sianco, the harmless younger brother who is given a hard time by Jac and overindulged by Martha.
The author succeeds in keeping the readers interest with a mixture of dark humor and emotional poignancy, by the end of the novel I felt I had been to Graig Ddu and knew the protagonists because Lewis paints such a vivid portrait of their surroundings and hardships. I flew through the book, desperate to find out the fate of the characters, suspecting through out it wouldn't be a happy conclusion. This novel made a deep impression on me and I highly recommend it to all.

What the reviews said...
‘The best Welsh novel I have ever read.’
John Handy

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