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Gwybodaeth Lyfryddol
Master Bedroom, The
Tessa Hadley
ISBN: 9780224078542 (0224078542)Dyddiad Cyhoeddi Awst 2007
Cyhoeddwr: Jonathan Cape, Llundain
Fformat: Clawr Caled, 223x142 mm, 309 tudalen Iaith: Saesneg Archebir yn Űl y galw Ein Pris: £16.99   
Does dim Adolygiad Cwsmer i'r teitl hwn.
 
Ysgrifennwch Adolygiad Cwsmer
Wedi ugain mlynedd a rhagor yn Llundain, mae Kate Flynn yn dychwelyd adref i Gymru i ofalu am ei mam oedrannus. Mae hi wedi rhoi ei gyrfa academaidd o'r neilltu, a phan mae'n gweld hen ffrind ysgol iddi, David Roberts, mewn cyngerdd, caiff ei hudo ganddo, er ei bod hi'n ymwybodol taw llenwi'r gwacter yn ei bywyd a wna'r serch rhyngddynt.

After more than twenty years in London, Kate Flynn has returned to her family home in Wales to care for her ageing mother. Having cast off her academic career, she is unmoored, and when she runs into a childhood friend, David Roberts, at a concert, she finds herself falling for him, although she knows she's grasping at anything to fill the sudden emptiness of her life.
Oh, what a tangled web we weave . . . At the age of 43, Kate Flynn gives up her job as a university lecturer in London to return to Cardiff to look after her elderly mother in the rambling and dilapidated family home. Kateís life has clearly never been simple, especially when it comes to affairs of the heart, and she rapidly creates more complications for herself by becoming emotionally involved, first with the solid and dependable David and then with his intense and troubled teenage son, Jamie. Meanwhile, Davidís wife, Suzie, is being enticed out of her role as dutiful wife and mother by some new hippy friends who remember how to have fun.

Recipe for disaster or opportunity for change, here is mid-life in all its tedious gore and glory. The acerbic Kate, her vulnerability concealed beneath her wit and irony and layered clothing, is torn between craving and contempt for a life more normal. She is as frail as a bird – is this a metaphor for her thin and insubstantial self or is she going to be brave enough to get down to the bones of things? Will rational, uptight David finally connect with his feelings and take a walk on the wild side? Can Suzie genuinely cast off the self-imposed straightjacket of conventionality? In thirty years time, we can imagine Jamie navigating the same territory: different story, different map, different route maybe, but ultimately the same rather desolate landscape of regrets and confusion.

Tessa Hadley is not one to deliver rosy pictures, neat resolutions or happy endings just to make us feel good, and this rather downbeat novel is shot through with a sense of shattered hope and tired resignation that lingers long after you have turned the last page.

Suzy Ceulan Hughes

It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgment should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.

Gellir defnyddio'r adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiat‚d Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru.
Gwybodaeth Bellach:
The Master Bedroom
When Kate realises that her elderly, widowed mother, Billie, can no longer live alone, she decides to give up her post as a university lecturer in London and return to her native Cardiff. Leaving her independent and fashionable metropolitan life, she settles back into the crumbling splendour of the big, middle-class house built by her entrepreneurial Jewish grandfather. Her apparently altruistic decision soon appears to have more complex motives, however. Picking up threads of social networks from her formative years, she comes across David, brother of one of her oldest friends. His second marriage now in crisis, he becomes strongly drawn to Kate. As Billie fades into a private world of dementia, Kate tries to cut herself off from old ties, but she is drawn despite herself into closer contact with David's family as they too suffer a similar breakdown of communication and normality. Each individual has to explore the past, exorcise old ghosts, redefine personal identity and try to build a new modus vivendi better suited to present circumstances. Characters gradually emerge and develop, their progress set against the contrasting and parallel decay of Billie and her sensuously-evoked house. Even the city itself has changed: no longer the nineteenth-century industrial and mercantile powerhouse, it struggles to come to terms with new concepts of Welsh identity and its role as home of the newly devolved national government of Wales.
Tessa Hadley is an assured and sensitive writer, with a strong sense of place. The Master Bedroom, with its intricately woven texture underpinned by visual and musical symbolic patternings, is a memorable novel of change, loss, and gaining the confidence to face a different future.
Cyfnewidfa LÍn Cymru/Wales Literature Exchange
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