Sunday 15 February 2009

The Owl Service by: Alan Garner

The Owl Service
Alan Garner

Harper Collins

ISBN 0006754015

This was a bizarre little book. It is a retelling of an old Welsh legend - a legend of a curse that is relived in each generation, again and again, in the same Welsh Valley. The main characters are Allison and Roger who are Step Siblings and Gwen is the son of the flitch - the wise man of the valley.

The book captivated and I could not put it down. Various kinds of discrimination and prejudice pervade the plot and the book is full of dark twisty turns in the plot and sub-plots, one of which is the condensation of the English to the Welsh and its corollary in the Welsh resentment of English wealth. The class divide is on many different levels: between a working class boy and richer children, between a land-owning family and a businessman's family and finally there is the divide between urban Welsh and the Welsh-speaking country people. It was a fantastic book and as I stated earlier I could not put it down.

(First written as Journal Reading Notes in 1999.)

1 comment:

Umerue said...

Any traslations?