By Manon SteffanRos
On my eightieth birthday, Jonathan gave me a notebook. Hard-backed with brown and pale yellow marbling on the cover, like chocolate in cream.
‘I want you to write something for me,’ said Jonathan, his dark eyes
locking onto mine. ‘I want you to write your story, Mam.’
Peggy’s story is the story of her Snowdonia village – of a community that that shares its joys and its woes across floured kitchen tables and scrubbed shop counters.
Throughout Peggy’s life food looms large – the lack of it, the sharing of it, the eating of it – from gingerbread to cawl, ice-cream to bara-brith. Her recipes are well-used and much appreciated, but no one is quite sure where her inspiration comes from, why she is
the way she is.
Not until everyone’s tale is told does Peggy’s story unfold… as thick, dark and sticky as treacle.
Waterstones Wales Book of the Month July 2015
Originally published in the Welsh language as Blasu, and winner of the fiction category of Wales Book of the Year.
"A gripping story, sensitively written" Gwales
"[A] feast of a novel…successfully captures life’s profundity and pain...involving its readers closely in the lives of its believable and memorable characters" Taliesin
"Taste is the key to reactivate memories as the history of an enigma of a woman unfolds" Barn
"My mouth watered on reading the recipes and I found seeing the context in which Pegi had come by them poignant... I found the story disturbing, uplifting and shocking by turns."
Elizabeth Jane Corbett
"...a beautifully written and touching work of fiction, unlike anything else I've read before; undoubtedly worth picking up!"
Jody - A Spoonful of Happy Endings
"In a series of tender and vivid vignettes, Ross addresses love and friendship, motherhood, nurturing and neglect, mental illness, physical illness and ageing. Her wonderful language conjures up the smells and tastes and textures of the food she describes, as well as the rugged landscapes and changing seasons of North Wales."
Catriona Troth, BookMuse (https://bookmuseuk.blogspot.com/)
Categories: Fiction, Novels, Translation
First Published by Honno: 21st May 2015