Anarchy reigns in the city as environmental disaster brings shrinking landmass, food shortages and the collapse of infrastructure, and a family retreats to the ancestral farm in upland Wales. Here Uncle Wil, who alone retains farming and country skills, tries to ensure a food supply whilst battling both illness and climate. As their mother retreats to her room and her fantasies of a lost consumer paradise, Huw and Mari are awakened to the harsh reality that has overtaken them. The fragile balance of their lives is disturbed when they are joined by Nico, a young Pole, who has already understood that the competition for increasingly scarce resources is their greatest threat. As the waters rise, new dangers appear and all must find their own strategies for survival from day to day.
Lloyd Jones’s first novel in Welsh amply demonstrates that the award-winning author of Mr Vogel can write with equal if not greater power and subtlety in his mother tongue. Slowly he reveals the tensions at the heart of this microcosm of humanity as the extent of disaster is only gradually borne in on both protagonists and the reader. Once again Jones weaves themes from Welsh literary tradition into a compelling modern narrative, as Mari turns Scheherazade in her attempts to stave off inevitable realities. This monitory vision of a future where languages and cultures as well as species are doomed is tempered by great warmth and compassion. Y Dŵr is a disturbing, convincing and unforgettable novel.
'It was about time that we had a parable for our time, to make us cry buckets and then focus afresh.'