The quiet village of Llanwddyn has long been a safe haven for Gwen, a young Welsh country girl whose life has been fraught with tragedy. Following the untimely death of her parents, it was her aunt’s home in Llanwddyn that provided Gwen and her brother a refuge from their grief. Now, with the unwelcome news that the village is to be razed in the name of progress, an inescapable wave of change has begun.
When her brother departs to follow his dream of sailing the high seas, Gwen is left alone to navigate the shifting world around her. She soon finds herself relying on the support of her brother’s best friend, Lewis, a gentle blacksmith whose kindness stirs her heart. Resigned to the fact that Lewis may never see her as more than a child, Gwen is soon swept off her feet by Thomas, a prosperous young Englishman. Torn between two men and two very different paths, Gwen has little time to determine what course her heart will follow. With time running out for her beautiful valley, will love come too late?
Size: 6" x 9", 280 pages
Audio running time - 7.5 hours, unabridged.
|Published||Covenant Communications (November 2, 2015)|
|Audiobook Narrator||Aubrey Warner|
|Runtime||7 Hrs. 17 Min.|
This was an absolutely lovely story! I enjoyed learning more about the people of Wales and appreciated how much of the story was based on true events. The romance was a nice addition to the story too. I hope to read more from this author—well done!
I quite enjoyed this author’s writing style, and I loved learning more about the people of Wales. The story has a flavor of realness as the characters come to life in these welsh villages. I can’t wait to try the recipe included at the end!
WHAT IT'S ABOUT
The quiet village of Llanwddyn has long been a safe haven for Gwen, a young Welsh country girl whose life has been fraught with tragedy. Following the untimely death of her parents, it was her aunt's home in Llanwddyn that provided Gwen and her brother a refuge from their grief. Now, with the unwelcome news that the village is to be razed in the name of progress, an inescapable wave of change has begun.
When her brother departs to follow his dream of sailing the high seas, Gwen is left alone to navigate the shifting world around her. She soon finds herself relying on the support of her brother's best friend, Lewis, a gentle blacksmith whose kindness stirs her heart. Resigned to the fact that Lewis may never see her as more than a child, Gwen is soon swept off her feet by Thomas, a prosperous young Englishman. Torn between two men and two very different paths, Gwen has little time to determine what course her heart will follow. With time running out for her beautiful valley, will love come too late?
This is a slow-moving, somewhat bittersweet tale. It takes its time getting Gwen old enough to really be part of a romance, but it's a tender one. It shows both sides of a story based on something that happened in real life.
When Gwen was 10 years of age and her brother, Robert, was 13 years old, their parents became ill and died. Their Welch Aunt Jane took them inn ad finished raising them. Aunt Jane was always kind to them but she wasn't at all like her sister...But Robert and Gwen always had each other.
As they grew up, more upsetting changes were occurring. Soon their village of Llanwddyn would be, no more. She had a special rock where she would go to to meditate and draw. there were only two people she ever shared it with...Robert and his best friend, Lewis.
Robert approached Gwen one day while in her sixteenth year, with some devastating news...News that would be the beginning of life-changing event. Robert was an adventurer. Gwen was a homebody who enjoyed being around fewer people.
This is a very touching drama. The scenes steadily move and the writing was done well. A reader could very easily feel a part of the whole story. Once again, Sian Ann Bessey has successfully created another great tale!
This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review, of which I have given.
Books set in Wales or with characters from Wales are always a draw for me. This book is set about 10 years before my Great Grandmother left Wales with her mother and immigrated to the United States.
The book deals with change. The town of Llandwddyn is about to be leveled and moved to another location. A dam will be built that will cover the town. The main character's, Gwen, brother has just left to follow his dream. He has always wanted to work on a ship and see new places. Gwen has a hard time adjusting to new things. She is resistant to change. This book looks at her life during a hard time period.
This book is beautifully written. It is easy to relate to and like the characters. I love the reflective nature of the book. I felt as if I could see the area she described and get a feel for the culture and people.
This is a clean historical romance.
I love this kind of book. It's historical fiction, the town in this book really did exist, and the events really did happen. The author simply added some characters and a story to go with them. I was actually kind of amazed at the reason that the town of Liverpool needed to build the dam. The young people in town could not find clean water to drink, so they were drinking whatever they could find and in a lot of cases that was alcohol. I can't even imagine not having clean water and turning to alcohol instead. Crazy!
I loved Gwen, she was a great character to be able to see the situation through. I loved the way that she accepted her brother's decision to go to sea and loved him all the same. I loved that she had courage to do hard things, to be able to go to school in a different city on her own and later to care for those she loved, even though the situations were hard.
I loved the romance aspect of this book. It starts very small, so small that Gwen really had no idea that she was in love, but eventually she's able to see just who she loves and what the right thing is to do. For herself and for those around her.
I loved the setting of this book, I felt as though I took a quick trip to Wales and Liverpool with Gwen. Make sure to check out this great book, you won't want to put it down!
(4.5 Stars) Gwen and her brother, Robert, live with their aunt in Wales--in a town soon to be destroyed. When Robert decides to go to sea, he asks his friend, Lewis, to keep an eye on Gwen. Gwen can't help but fall for him, but he just doesn't see her that way. Lewis is such a kind and gentle person--I couldn't help but like him, too.
I love that Gwen got to go away to school for a time and have those great experiences. She's a character in the process of being molded and is impressionable. She's a little skittish towards strangers, with good reason, but is very efficient, likable, and is always willing to help out.
When Gwen is needed back home, she makes sacrifices to do the right thing, and by doing so, meets Thomas. He's an Englishman and gradually worms his way into her heart. I really like how understanding and patient he is.
Through many events and circumstances beyond her control, Gwen discovers herself and her true place in life. Both the good times and the hard times helped shape her character. I enjoyed the journey this gentle read took me on and found myself satisfied with the way events played out (yay epilogue!).
Content: mild romance; mild violence (an attempted attack); nothing else of note. Clean!
*I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
This book wraps around you like a warm blanket on a cold day. I loved it! It was gentle and lulling and full of warmth.
I love that this book was based on actual events of a village in Wales. It may seem like a relatively small event in the whole historical scheme of things, but for this one village it was the largest, hardest thing in their history. They literally had to pack up and move their whole village. Can you imagine?
Gwen is a sweet, gentle creature. She has never had the praise and emotional building up that children and teens crave as she was raised by a no nonsense aunt who was more prone to criticize with a sharp tongue. Gwen is lonely and a more solitary creature, especially after her brother leaves to follow his dream of adventure on the seas. She is intelligent and artistic and spends many hours drawing and thinking.
I loved the gentle progression of events in this book. It was like I sat in the pocket of the story while the events unfolded all around me. You really get a deep sense of community as the villagers come together to support and help each other, especially in times of need. It all felt so real and well defined to me. So well done. I really loved this book!
Content: Clean. No swearing or sexual content.
The village of Llanwddyn is going to be flooded so the people have a few years to relocate (while the dam is being built). Gwen and her brother, Robert, have lived with their Aunty Jane since their parents died. Robert is a seaman at heart and takes off to travel and have new adventures. He asked his best friend, Lewis, to watch over Gwen while he was gone.
Gwen and Lewis don't have much interaction at the beginning. They have polite conversations but that's about it. It also takes a while before Thomas enters the picture. It wasn't too difficult to figure out who she was in love with but it was interesting to see the differences between the men and what they each had to offer.
I fell in love with this book! It moved slowly at times, but I never lost interest. I was immersed in Gwen's life and what was going to happen next. There are some tragic moments that brought tears to my eyes and incredibly happy moments that brought a smile to my face.
I read the Author's Note at the end and wasn't surprised to learn that this novel was based on actual events. It's well researched and well written. If you enjoy clean historical fiction, this is a book you will want to read!
I received a copy of this book to review. My opinion is 100% my own.
What a lovely book. It was so easy for me to relate to the main character Gwen, one who is sentimental, stubborn, and has a difficult time adjusting to change. I love that she is an artist, sketching her changing village from her perch on the mountain. Her way of coping with life is admirable, to make each day meaningful in some small way, whether it's taking a moment to appreciate nature or helping someone in the community. Even though the book is not fast-paced, it was one that I wanted to take my time reading and enjoy every page as it steadily moved forward with Gwen's feelings of anxiety and conflict along her journey of transition. The Welsh setting and words were completely charming. Highly recommend!
(Thank you to Covenant Communications for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
This historical romance is set in the quiet village of Llanwddyn in Wales in the late 1880’s. Gwen is a 16 year old girl who lives with her strict aunt. When her brother leaves for sea and changes come to her community due to a dam that is to be built, which will in the years to come force the villagers to relocate, she must dig deep within herself to find happiness.
This book was based on true events in Wales. The Vyrnwy dam was built in Wales to help bring clean water to the people of Liverpool. This is a more introspective story and not driven by a gripping plot and lots of twists and surprises, but I still enjoyed it. Gwen is a simple girl, but talented and kind. She is sweet and sacrifices so much for those she loves. Lewis and Thomas are great male characters that are both honest, hard-working and without fault. I didn’t know who to cheer for at times, because the author didn’t write one off with a character flaw to get him out of the way.
The setting details and writing style were beautiful. This reflective piece made me smile and was perfect for reading in a cozy chair on a cold winter night. I could tell the historical details were well-researched and written in a way to enhance the story and teach the reader simultaneously. Overall, a thoughtful read and cozy romance befitting of simpler times.
***I received a complimentary copy of this book in from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.