With an introduction by Jasmine Donahaye
“‘Saw ye him whom my soul loveth? … I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother’s house…”
Simon Black grows up Jewish in the Welsh-speaking community of Blaemawe, idolising the English grand-daughter of the ‘big house’, Edith Miller, and wishing with all his heart that he might leave behind his Welsh and Jewish heritage and become an English gentleman. He succeeds in finding work in the Civil Service and is followed to London by his lover, and later wife, Jani. But still he is haunted by Edith Miller and the fervent discussions they had about religion, politics and identity.
Edith is splitting her time between her other grandmother in London, and nursing in Wales and in Palestine. When they meet again, there is much ground to make up, but as Simon has discovered once before there is more to Edith than meets the eye.
In the first of her fascinating novels of twentieth-century life and society, Lily Tobias examines what it means to have faith, to feel a foreigner in your own country and to yourself, and to find a homeland.
Lily Tobias (1887-1984) was born in Swansea, grew up in Ystalyfera, and lived in Swansea, Cardiff, London and Haifa, first in Palestine and then in Israel. Her life was devoted to a number of causes including women’s suffrage, the Labour movement, pacifism and the establishment of a Jewish state. She was the author of short stories, four novels and the first stage adaptation of Daniel Deronda.
Waterstones Wales Book of the Month for April 2015