Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Seasoning by Manon Steffan Ros

Paperback:  263 pages                                                                                              

Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Honno Press May 2015
Source: Lent to me by a Tywyn friend.
First Sentence:On my eightieth birthday Jonathan gave me a notebook.
Review Quote: "A gripping story, sensitively written." "Gwales"
My Opinion: Originally published as 'Blasu' now translated from the Welsh language. This gentle but sad story located locally was of particular interest to me as it mentioned so many places I know. The protagonist is Peggy and her life story unfolds as different members of the village community that she grew up in, narrate a section of the novel. The contrast of sharing recipes along side the difficult subject of mental illness is a bold one but it works. 

Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:

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, ce-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

Author Profile

Manon Steffan Ros was born and brought up in Rhiwlas, Bangor, Wales. She is a Welsh novelist, playwright, games author, and scriptwriter. She is the daughter of Steve Eaves, a Welsh poet, songwriter and singer. 

Manon won the Drama Medal twice at the National Eisteddfod (2005 and 2006) and her first novel, "Fel Aderyn" ("Like a Bird") was shortlisted for the Wales Book of the Year award, 2010. She won the Tir na n-Og prize for children's literature twice, in 2010 and 2012, with" Trwy'r Tonnau" ("Through the Waves") and "Prism." Her novel "Blasu "("The Seasoning") was originally published in Welsh to critical acclaim in 2012 and won the 2013 Wales Book of the Year Welsh Fiction category.

Photographs and biographical information courtesy of the following sites.

Amazon Author Page   Wikipedia    Twitter Profile  Manon Steffan Ros - Facebook Profile

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