The Coward's Tale by Vanessa Gebbie

The Coward's Tale

Vanessa Gebbie

An elegy to the solidarity of Welsh mining village life, and how the terrible disaster at the Kindly Light pit echoes down the generations, with people seeking their own coping strategies from one generation to the next. Think about Senghenydd, Aberfan, the Chilean miners and this book will give you an insight into what those communities suffered, using Welsh storytelling tradition as the means. Not to be missed.

Extract

And I can tell you this, as well. When Tommo Price was small, a year or two before the death of Annie's son, mind, his grandmother, old Mrs Price, she died herself. Still asking for the body of her husband Billy, too. And there she was, all laid out in the coffin on the table in the front room, her mouth held shut with a black ribbon tied below her chin. And young Tommo - her grandson, only five - he waited until the talking stopped, the watchers gone for their supper, and he crept in with two small glass marbles in his pockets. Pushed those marbles one after the other right up his grandmother's nose, then stood back, waiting for her to sit up, and sneeze, and for the marbles to knock on the table top. But she never did.

Parallels
  • How Green Was My Valley by Richard LLewellyn
  • Cwmardy by Lewis Jones
  • In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar