Happy March! There are so many good things about March — Women’s History Month, my birthday, spring. Add to this list Reading Wales 2022, aka, Dewithon (#dewithon22) or the Wales Readathon (#walesreadathon22). Reading Wales is month-long focus on reading literature by and about writers from Wales. It was created and is hosted each March by Paula at Book Jotter.
I’m starting off the month with Salt by Catrin Kean. I purchased this novel last year when I first heard about it. Salt won the Llyfr y Flwyddn Wales Book of the Year in 2021 (#LLYF21).
Cardiff in the late 1800s is grimy, crowded, and grey, and Ellen, a domestic, dreams of escaping her dreary life there for the sea. When she falls in love with Samuel, a ship’s cook from Barbados, she is able to fulfil her fantasy by running away with him on a ship bound for the bright excitement of San Francisco.
Life at sea is brutal and dangerous, but it is a place where they can be free… Until circumstances force Ellen home, and the hardships of working class life and racism begin to poison their lives.
‘Salt’ is based on the lives of Kean’s great-grandparents, who married in 1878. This is their love story.Link to Salt on Goodreads
Sounds good, right? I’m diving in tomorrow.
My second Dewithon
This is my second time participating in Reading Wales. In 2020 I read One Moonlit Night by Caradog Prichard. This is a heartbreaking novel first published in Welsh in 1961 and translated into English in 1995. It’s a coming of age story set in Bethesda, Wales in the mid-1910s. I still find myself thinking about it.
The other book I read in 2020 was The Literature of Wales by Dafydd Johnston. This is a short introduction to 1,500 years of Welsh writing. It’s only 208 pages, but packs in a lot without being overwhelming. I’ve taken if off the shelf to revisit over the month.
Are you going to read something for Reading Wales 2022? Visit the DHQ (Dewithon Headquarters) over on Book Jotter to learn more.
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Thank you so much, Chris. I’m so pleased you will be Dewithoning again this year! 😀
I’m so glad you’re hosting it again this year (in the midst of moving!). I started SALT this morning and hated to put it down to get to work. Have a feeling I’ll be up late tonight reading….
Great post, Chris. I am again gearing up for #dewithon but as usual I am finding it hard to source the older Welsh books. Oh well, I have found a couple of good ones to get me started 🙂 I also enjoyed Caradog Prichard’s One Moonlit Night which tied with my love of Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood, both such immersive reads. Happy Reading Wales – Gretchen.
I’m reading two Richard King books (born in Newport, lives in Powys), The Lark Ascending, which has chapters set in Wales, and the wonderful oral history, Brittle with Relics, which is a history of Wales, 1962-87.