When Bet’s soldier son is killed on active service not even her Cartesian philosophy can help her cope with her bereavement. Instead, she embarks on her personal nostos, journeying back to the now run-down town of her childhood in north-west Wales, reverting to her native language that alone can encompass her grief. Leaving behind her comfortable life with her academic career, her posh English husband and his high-ranking friends, she finds her old family home occupied by Cheryl, a young woman who, despite her initial hostility, will become increasingly significant in her life. As Bet divests herself of her acquired English identity and retrieves her real self, friends and enemies old and new emerge in the changed and changing town. Drawn into Cheryl’s world of Robin Hood charity, she encounters a rich cast of characters, from the English incomer peddling right-wing politics, and Bet’s old professor with his bizarre, evangelical Christian community, to sardonic novelist Tom Rhydderch – returning as a leitmotif from previous work by Aled Jones Williams – struggling with writer’s block.
Writing with his characteristic subtlety and humanity, and crossing linguistic frontiers to now savage, now humorous effect, Jones Williams explores the depths and complexities of the human psyche in his most accomplished novel yet.
‘Intricate and multi-layered … perceptive insight by an inimitable wordsmith.’ BARN