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Gwybodaeth Lyfryddol
Land of the Living, The: Volume 7 - Bonds of Attachment
Emyr Humphreys
ISBN: 9780708316252 (0708316255)Dyddiad Cyhoeddi Mawrth 2001
Cyhoeddwr: Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru / University of Wales Press, Caerdydd
Fformat: Clawr Meddal, 216x138 mm, 368 tudalen Iaith: Saesneg Allan o Stoc - Archebir yn l y galw Pris Llawn: £9.99 
Ein Pris: £4.99 
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Does dim Adolygiad Cwsmer i'r teitl hwn.
 
Ysgrifennwch Adolygiad Cwsmer
Y seithfed a'r rhan olaf o gyfres 'Land of the Living', yn adrodd hanes Peredur, mab ieuengaf John Cilydd More, yn ceisio dadansoddi ei berthynas â'i dad ac aelodau eraill o'i deulu wrth iddo ef a'i frodyr wynebu marwolaeth eu mam, Amy Parry.

The seventh and final part of the 'Land of the Living' sequence relating the story of Peredur, youngest son of John Cilydd More, as he analyses his relationship with his father and various members of his family as he and his brothers face the death of their mother, Amy Parry.
Emyr Humphreys's long and prolific writing career must now warrant him the title of Wales's number one novelist and place him amongst the greatest of those who have ever attempted to interpret life in Wales through prose. This substantial novel, Bonds of Attachment, is the seventh and final volume in the Land of the Living series which traces the life of the faintly aristocratic, yet distinctly louche central character, Amy Parry. In this concluding episode of the septet, the focus shifts to her youngest son, Peredur who, alone, is moved enough by his ancestry to delve into his family's past to uncover the mystery surrounding the death of his father, poet John Cilydd More.

The story unfolds at a leisurely pace through the alternate narratives of Peredur and – via Peredur's memories and recovered notebooks – the voice of his dead father. Along the way, Humphreys demonstrates his mastery over language to deliver many social comments and startling images. He gives voice to the sector of Welsh opinion which feels some irritation at the growing 'trendiness' of the Welsh language and the middle-class values which have become associated with it. Peredur, who feels a close connection to his roots, remarks with some bitterness, ‘[They] used their mother tongue as a social lubricant: a useful adjunct, for example, to social-climbing career-making or private jokes. Their mental processes remained rigidly Anglo-British.’ Later, during a scene where Peredur's father is describing a terrifying sailing expedition he made as a youth, Humphreys gives an insight into a writer's mind with the simple yet arresting observation, ‘If I had to die I would go with a poem on my lips.’

Bonds of Attachment is a rewarding read, but it is not an easy one. Much is demanded of the reader in terms of background knowledge of the series; it does not, perhaps, work as well when read in isolation as Outside the House of Baal, which remains a poignant and enduring portrait of life in Wales. However, the Land of the Living series, when read in its entirety, must surely be one of the most extensive, ambitious and richly rewarding works of Anglo-Welsh writing.

Hayley Long

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 ganiatâd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru.
Gwybodaeth Bellach:
' The supreme interpreter of Welsh life in English.' R. S. Thomas
' For a native work of comparable scope invention and authority . . . one has probably to go back . . . to the Mabinogion cycle itself.’ M. Wynn Thomas
‘With the appearance of the seventh novel, Bonds of Attachment, later this year, it will be possible to see the septet [Land of the Living] as one of the finest achievements of Welsh writing in English . . . Already it is clear that Emyr Humphreys is our greatest living novelist.’ (Western Mail)
‘Emyr Humphreys's long and prolific writing career must now warrant him the title of Wales's number one novelist and place him amongst the greatest of those who have ever attempted to interpret life in Wales through prose . . . Bonds of Attachment is a rewarding read . . . the 'Land of the Living' series, when read in its entirety, must surely be one of the most extensive, ambitious and richly rewarding works of Anglo-Welsh writing.’ (www.gwales.com)
There are, of course, bonds of attachment underlying all the novels in the 'Land of the Living' sequence. In this final volume, they bind together the voices of the dead poet, John Cilydd More, and his youngest son Peredur in a twin-track narrative. Their words reflect the splendours and the miseries of a century of wars and relentless progress.
Peredur defies both his mother's hostility and his two brothers' lack of concern to seek out the truth of his father's death and to take part in a protest against the 1969 Investiture that goes violently wrong. Only at the very end when the central figure of the series herself, Amy Parry, is facing death does there seem hope of reconciliation.
Click here to read Emyr Humphreys's own views on the 'Land of the Living' series.
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