Spring's Green Shadow
32nd title in the Welsh Women’s Classics series
Laura Gethryn spends the first 7 years of her life in Monmouthshire where her father’s family have been landowners for centuries. Her horsey mother idolizes the absent soldier and his return a broken man, emasculated by the Great War, leaves them destined to remain the disappointed parents of a single girl child. Caught up in the dance of dysfunction that is their marriage, they hand over Laura’s education to Mr Howells, a very different man to Gethryn. Welsh-speaking, working-class and intellectual, he and his talented daughter, Mair, and disaffected son Idris, open Laura’s eyes to a surprising new world. After a tragic incident shames Mr Howells in front of the entire village, Laura is parceled off to boarding school and life seems boring, predictable and closed down once again. But a chance meeting at the Eisteddfod, having witnessed Mair win a singing prize, opens the door to new horizons and a life in Paris.
Years later, Laura receives in the mail a package: Mr Howell’s own Parisian notebooks detailing his failure to escape the chains of his upbringing. Reading them, destroying them, may be the biggest service she does both her mentor and her future self.
17 February 2022