Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to request physical items has been temporarily disabled. Click here to find out how to create lists of items to request later. You can still request OverDrive items from this site, and all digital resources remain available through the eLibrary site. If you need a library card, register here.

The Welsh girl

by Davies, Peter Ho, 1966-

Format: Print Book 2007
Availability: Available at 8 Libraries 8 of 9 copies
Available (8)
Location Collection Call #
Bridgeville Public Library Fiction FIC DAV
Location  Bridgeville Public Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  FIC DAV
CLP - East Liberty Fiction Collection FICTION Davies,
Location  CLP - East Liberty
Collection  Fiction Collection
Call Number  FICTION Davies,
CLP - Squirrel Hill Fiction Collection FICTION Davies,
Location  CLP - Squirrel Hill
Collection  Fiction Collection
Call Number  FICTION Davies,
Monroeville Public Library Fiction Davies
Location  Monroeville Public Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  Davies
Moon Township Public Library Fiction F DAVIES Peter
Location  Moon Township Public Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  F DAVIES Peter
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Fiction DAVIES Peter Ho
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  DAVIES Peter Ho
Northland Public Library Fiction FIC DAVIES
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  FIC DAVIES
Penn Hills Library Fiction DAV
Location  Penn Hills Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  DAV
Unavailable (1)
Location Collection Status
Northern Tier Regional Library Fiction CHECKED OUT
Location  Northern Tier Regional Library
Collection  Fiction
From the acclaimed writer Peter Ho Davies comes an engrossing wartime love story set in the stunning landscape of North Wales during the final, harrowing months of World War II.

Young Esther Evans has lived her whole life within the confines of her remote mountain village. The daughter of a fiercely nationalistic sheep farmer, Esther yearns for a taste of the wider world that reaches her only through broadcasts on the BBC. Then, in the wake of D-day, the world comes to her in the form of a German POW camp set up on the outskirts of Esther's village.

The arrival of the Germans in the camp is a source of intense curiosity in the local pub, where Esther pulls pints for both her neighbors and the unwelcome British guards. One summer evening she follows a group of schoolboys to the camp boundary. As the boys heckle the prisoners across the barbed wire fence, one soldier seems to stand apart. He is Karsten Simmering, a German corporal, only eighteen, a young man of tormented conscience struggling to maintain his honor and humanity. To Esther's astonishment, Karsten calls out to her.

These two young people from worlds apart will be drawn into a perilous romance that calls into personal question the meaning of love, family, loyalty, and national identity. The consequences of their relationship resonate through the lives of a vividly imagined cast of characters: the drunken BBC comedian who befriends Esther, Esther's stubborn father, and the resentful young British "evacuee" who lives on the farm -- even the German-Jewish interrogator investigating the most notorious German prisoner in Wales, Rudolf Hess.

Peter Ho Davies has been hailed for his "all-encompassing empathy that is without borders" (Elle). That trancendent compassion shines through The Welsh Girl, a novel that is both thought-provoking and emotionally enthralling.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Half-Welsh Davies draws on his heritage and a little-known part of World War II history in this beautifully written story of life and love on the outskirts of the war. The stories of three primary characters alternate as their lives intersect: Rotherdam, a British intelligence officer, son of a Canadian mother and German father who was Jewish; Karsten, a young German corporal taken prisoner in France; and title character Esther Evans, 17, who helps her widower father with his sheep farm and works at the neighborhood pub. In mid-1944, English troops finish building a base in the Welsh hills, which--unknown to the locals--will be a POW camp, when Esther is raped by her English soldier sweetheart, with whom she had dreamed of eloping. Karsten, ashamed of surrendering even when the only recourse was death for him and his men, is an English-speaking POW at the new camp who restores his reputation and is aided by Esther when he escapes. And Rotherdam, skilled at interviewing prisoners (among then Rudolf Hess), struggles with his heritage. Dealing with issues of honor, identity, patriotism, and displacement, this centers on cynefin, a Welsh word describing a sense of place or territory for which there is no English equivalent. This first novel by Davies, author of two highly praised short story collections, has been anticipated--and, with its wonderfully drawn characters, it has been worth the wait. --Michele Leber Copyright 2006 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Esther, a WWII-era Welsh barmaid, finds her father-a fiercely nationalistic, anti-English shepherd-provincial; she daydreams that she'll elope to London with her secret sweetheart, an English soldier. In short order, Esther is raped by her boyfriend, and her Welsh village is turned into a dumping ground for German prisoners. Meanwhile, Karsten, a German POW who is mortified that he'd ordered his men to surrender, believes that only by escaping can he find redemption. Davies (Equal Love) uses the familiar tensions of WWII Britain to nice ensemble effect: among the more nuanced secondary characters is a British captain who is the son of a German-Jewish WWI hero-the man's father had always considered himself a Lutheran until the Nazi ascension forced him to flee Germany. As Esther begins to question her own allegiances, Karsten comes into her orbit. What makes this first novel by an award-winning short-storyteller an intriguing read isn't the plot-which doesn't quite go anywhere-but the beautifully realized characters, who learn that life is a jumble of difficult compromises best confronted with eyes wide open. (Feb. 12) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Prisoners of war -- Germany -- Fiction.
Prisoners of war -- Wales -- Fiction.
Young women -- Wales -- Fiction.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Fiction.
Wales -- Fiction.
Publisher Boston :Houghton Mifflin,2007
Other Titles Welsh girl : a novel
Language English
Description 338 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 0618007008
Other Classic View