Tag Archive > Mari Strachan

Blow on a Dead Man’s Embers

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Blow on a Dead Man's Embers , Mari Strachan, book reviewIn a small Welsh community it seems that nobody has been able to escape the aftermath of World War I. The town sent away their men to the trenches to fight for their country (or more precisely perhaps, the one next door) and many got back only telegrams and photographs of crosses in a foreign land. Mothers fight to get their sons’ names onto the war memorial, one even blaming the flu that the ‘men’ brought back for the death of her boy who stayed home throughout the conflict. Mediums and con-artists make a lucrative living pandering to the needs of those desperate to contact loved ones on the other side and young women who’ve lost their fiancés face future spinsterhood with stoicism. Non (Rhiannon) Davies is considered one of the lucky ones – the man she married just a year before he went away came back to her physically undamaged but far from the man she knew. She watches his early morning rituals as he cowers under the kitchen table, shouldering an imaginary rifle and reliving his wartime terrors.


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The Earth Hums in B Flat

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The Earth Hums in B Flat By Mari StrachanGwenni Morgan is not quite like any other girl in her small Welsh town in the 1950’s. Aged 12, she is inquisitive, bookish and full of spirit. She can also fly in her sleep and loves playing detective. So when a neighbour mysteriously vanishes and no one seems to be asking the right questions, Gwenni decides to conduct her own investigation to try and find out what has happened to him. She begins questioning the villagers and records everything she sees and hears: but are her deductions correct? What is the real truth? And what will be the consequences of finding out?

Whilst this is not usually the type of book I would choose to read, I did find it held a strange kind of appeal after I read the blurb on the cover. I quickly realised at the beginning of the book that the author, Mari Strachan has managed to enter the mindset of a 12 year old girl in a very convincing manner.


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