When I sang the note to Mr. Hughes he said it was B flat but he laughed when I said it was the note the Earth hummed. He doesnt know how the Earths deep, never-ending note clothes me in rainbow colors and fills my head with all the books ever written. I could stay up here forever without the need for anything else in the whole world.
The Earth Hums in B Flat is a story of dark family secrets unraveled by the shrewd insight of twelve-year-old Gwenni Morgan, a child with an irrepressible spirit living in a Welsh village that is reluctantly entering the modern age. A dreamer with a knack for collecting and piecing together tidbits of information she overhears, Gwenni is forever asking unanswerable questions. From the small bed that she shares with her sister at night she flies up into the starry sky above her village and looks down on the lives of its inhabitants. And when the family that she babysits for is rocked by the sudden, unexplainable disappearance of their patriarch, Gwenni is determined to solve the mystery of Ifan Evans's whereabouts. Turning amateur detective, she is unaware that the trail will lead her closer to home than she ever imagined.
Told with a breathtaking, irresistible blend of freshness and wisdom, the voice that sixty-two-year-old Welsh debut novelist Mari Strachan has created with Gwenni is vibrant, charming, and full of heart. An unforgettable character, Gwennis unique way of seeing the world lends her the ability to make the ordinary extraordinary. A magical novel about the trials of youth, familial duty, and understanding, The Earth Hums in B Flat will transport you to another time and place.
I fly in my sleep every night. When I was little I could fly without being asleep; now I cant, even though I practise and practise. And after what I saw last night I want more than ever to fly wideawake. Mam always says: I want never gets. Is that true?
Last night began like every other night. I went to bed and changed under the bedclothes so Buddy Holly couldnt see me, and I laid my pink polka-dot hair ribbon down the middle of the mattress to show which side was whose, and Bethan said, like she always does: I dont want to sleep on your old side, anyway. Then, as soon as she was snoring she flung her arm across my face, and when I pinched her she swung her leg across my stomach.
So, it was hard to fall asleep. But when I did I left Bethan to spread herself across the whole bed and I soared into a sky that wrapped me in air as light and warm as an eiderdown. I listened to the town below breathe its shallow night-time breaths, in and out, ...
The Earth Hums in B Flat is a magical, literary and thoroughly enchanting debut. Gwennie's voice is perfect, she's charmingly naive and we learn about life along with her as she maneuvers through the complex and quirky characters of the story. Her tale has somewhat of a 'Harriet the Spy' feel to it as she attempts to take on a local missing persons case. The last fifty pages nearly took my breath away they were so beautiful. This book will also make a terrific young adult crossover, perfect for mother-daughter book clubs.
- Linda G. (Reviewed by BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers).
Full Review (743 words).
The Language of Wales
Wales, located on the south-west peninsula of Great Britain (the main island of the United Kingdom) is one of the four constituent nations of the UK, the others are England, Northern Ireland and Scotland (map). Its population is about 3 million (5% of the UK). For more about the history of Wales, see the sidebar to The Welsh Girl.
The traditional language of Wales, usually known as Welsh, is properly referred to as Cymraeg (pronounced approximately 'cumraig') - as 'welsh' comes from a Germanic word denoting foreigner or stranger. Welsh is a branch of Celtic which, like Scottish and Irish, traces its roots to the tribal societies of Iron Age Europe. Like its other Celtic cousins, it is a ...
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