book review

Review: Y Tŷ Ger y Traeth

Y Tŷ Ger y Traeth

Y Ty Ger y Traeth

Nofel grefftus am wrthdaro a’r bwlch rhwng y cenedlaethau. Mae gan Sara broblemau emosiynol ac mae’n dianc o gartref ei rhieni yng Nghaerdydd at ei thaid – hen hipi sy’n byw ger y traeth ym Morfa Bychan.

*This is a Welsh language book that probably hasn’t been translated into English.

This book was part of my Summer Reading for school, and so I didn’t have particularly high hopes for it. However, I was proven wrong by this book with its wonderful characters and a plot that slowly drew me in as I read more and more.

Cover

This is rather pretty with the footprints going along the beach and it definitely reflects the mood of this book. The footsteps make it more interesting and I just rather like it. It’s far simpler than most book covers these days.

Plot

This book is about 17 year old Sara Dafydd who feels like her life is empty and that nothing happens at all. Her parents don’t talk to each other much and she’s not at all close with her grandfather who hasn’t been spoken about since she was five years old. Sara decides that the answer to her “emotional problems” is to run off and visit said grandfather up in mid/north Wales without telling her parents a thing. The following plot is about discovering the problems from the past, the relationships of different characters and how the family’s story continues.

The beginning of the book is a little hard to get into, and it’s a bit confusing trying to figure out who’s who and how they all know each other. However, the relationships become clear as the book goes on and the stories of the different characters (Sara, Iwan, Jona) blend into each other nicely. It’s clear how the book ends, although there are some unanswered questions e.g. who is Moira and what happens to Pam? Most of the characters do get a proper ending and I did the like the final scene a lot.

Characters

Sara, the main character, is a very interesting character and is easy to relate too. She’s going through the same problems and issues as many other teenagers, although she has some extra ones too. Her reactions to the things going on around her are very believable and her character develops a lot during the book. In addition to Sara, Iwan is another example of a typical teenager in this book Personally, he was my favourite character in this book, although that may have been because his parts in the book are written in first person and so the reader gets to know Iwan better than some of the other characters. Iwan was also a very believable character, as were the families of both these characters.

Most of the characters had interesting plot lines in which they developed a lot because of the other characters and plot lines going on around them. However, I wasn’t at all keen on the plotl ine concerning Breioni and Breian (and those names are far too similar). I found Breioni to be quite a flat character who only did things for her own gain, and her personality seemed to only be spiteful and mean. Breioni does get some development in the book, but I think the main reason she was there was to make events happen that effected other characters far more than it did her (although the final event that she causes to happen is very effective).

The Little Things

One thing I noticed a lot in this book was the mention of the title, especially at the beginning of the book. I’m pretty sure that almost every character in this book managed to say the title at least one.

There were a lot of references to books, music and TV shows in this novel and I quite liked this element. I liked the way the different choices of music reflected the personalities of the different characters and the way the music of one character influenced other characters.

I did enjoy this book, and I found it very gripping towards the end. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who needs/wants a Welsh book to read.

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