Of the Ninth Verse by A. L. Reynolds
Anwen and her younger brother, Idwal, are inseparable almost from birth. The childhood they share involves harvesting the hay and looking after the newborn lambs in the Conwy valley, though Anwen sees before her the promise of a degree in Edinburgh or Durham and a career as a mathematician, while Idwal seems destined by his strength and skill to take over the running of the family farm. Then, as their feelings for each other grow darker and more complex, Anwen finds herself put to a terrifying choice. With a luminous prose that reflects the richness of the novel’s inner and outer landscapes, Of the Ninth Verse explores both the violent, destructive force of passion and the fragility of the human heart.
‘With its austere beauty and precisely knowledgeable evocations of the land, its people, and its rhythms, written in prose “felt in the blood, and felt along the heart”, Of the Ninth Verse has a profound and rooted authenticity that convinces and enchants – an enthralling novel by a writer at the peak of her powers.’
‘This subtly written novel is both a coming-of-age story, and a love story with a difference. Rooted firmly in rural Wales, it tells a compelling narrative of forbidden yet irresistible love. Reynolds handles the plot and characters beautifully, and the prose is elegant and readable. The female perspective is convincing, as the novel unrolls to its inevitable ending.’
Angela Topping, poet and critic
For all its drama and sense of foreboding, Of the Ninth Verse is a strangely comforting read. And it is so much more than a novel about an illicit relationship. …For me, it is the authenticity of the story that stays with you. Of The Ninth Verse is a love story. And a compassionate and incredibly convincing one at that.
Some Melodious Plot
|20.3 × 12.7 × 2.4 cm
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