How Green Was My Valley [NOOK Book]

Overview

Winner of the National Book Award in 1940 and the basis for the Academy Award Best Picture film of the same name, How Green Was My Valley is full of memorable characters, richly crafted language, and surprising humor.

Huw Morgan remembers the days when his home valley was prosperous, verdant, and beautiful—before the mines came to town. The youngest son of a respectable ...
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How Green Was My Valley

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Overview

Winner of the National Book Award in 1940 and the basis for the Academy Award Best Picture film of the same name, How Green Was My Valley is full of memorable characters, richly crafted language, and surprising humor.

Huw Morgan remembers the days when his home valley was prosperous, verdant, and beautiful—before the mines came to town. The youngest son of a respectable mining family in South Wales, he is now the only one left in the valley, and his reminiscences tell the story of a family and a town both defined and ruined by the mines.

Huw's story is both joyful and heartrending—a portrait of a place and a people existing now only in memory.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Richard Llewellyn (1906-1983) was an award-winning British novelist and the child of Welsh parents. He worked as a coal miner, a journalist, and a screenwriter for MGM studios. He served as a Captain in the Welsh Guards during World War II, and after the war covered the Nuremberg Trials as a reporter.

He is best known, however, for his novels—particularly those that celebrated coal mining communities in rural Wales. The best known of these, How Green Was My Valley, was published in 1939 to international renown, and was later memorably adapted to Hollywood by Director John Ford, starring Walter Pidgeon and Maureen O'Hara.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940016407135
  • Publisher: RosettaBooks
  • Publication date: 4/18/2013
  • Series: Books into Film , #36
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 446
  • Sales rank: 68,476
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Richard Llewellyn (1906-1983) was an award-winning British novelist and the child of Welsh parents. He worked as a coal miner, a journalist, and a screenwriter for MGM studios. He served as a Captain in the Welsh Guards during World War II, and after the war covered the Nuremberg Trials as a reporter.

He is best known, however, for his novels—particularly those that celebrated coal mining communities in rural Wales. The best known of these, How Green Was My Valley, was published in 1939 to international renown, and was later memorably adapted to Hollywood by Director John Ford, starring Walter Pidgeon and Maureen O'Hara.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 38 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(21)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2007

    A beautiful book

    I didn't know what to expect when I started this book, but I found myself drawn in by the simple poetry of Llewellyn's words and the beautiful story he tells. A wonderful novel, it should be read by everyone.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2011

    A real awakening of my own personal family tree.

    If you would have told me in high school i had to read this book for a class, i probably would have puttered through it, i didn't find too many assigned books horrible, i just hated people calling reading assignments homework. (as it stands, this was never required reading where i went to school.)

    A few years ago though, when i asked my grandmother for our family history, "You need to get a copy of the book, How Green Was My Valley, by Richard Llewellyn. He's a relative of ours," were my grandmother's words and something about he based it on some of the stories he heard growing up. Upon going to an extended family gathering a few weeks ago, i learned this is that one book that almost every family group in our Llewellyn bloodline has a copy of or is looking for one. Over the summer i read this book, and strangely, it did seem to snap some things properly into place. A lot of my great grandfather's mannerisms and attitudes were explained, (i'm assuming Richard Llewellyn is an uncle or cousin of my great grandfathers, because no one has really explained the relationship to me yet.)

    Anyway, i don't expect everyone who reads this book to have the same instant revelation as i did. I don't expect everyone to enjoy it. I do think it's a book you need to be a little older than high school student, and probably would be better suited to read it by choice rather than by force.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    How Great is This Green Valley

    A few times in my reading life I have been so been so touched by a book that when it is over I feel a great loss and literally clasp the book to my chest like a loved-one just departed.
    Some one once said, after seeing the beauty of Alaska, that he wished he had seen it as an old man, for it's magnificent beauty would surely spoil any scene he would ever see after. That's how I feel about this lovely, beautiful, wonderful book. I am afraid nothing I read will ever make me feel like this.
    It's about a small coal-mining village in Wales and the people in it. The focus is on a big wonderful family that loves each other very much though they sure do have their share of trouble. The point of view is that of Huw, beginning when he is just 6 years old and going all the way to his middle age. The prose is, well, poetry. I collected my favorite bits in a list on the bag page but there are too many to fit here. Here's but a few:
    "Beautiful were the days that are gone, and O, for them to be back. The mountain was green, and proud with a good covering of oak and ash, and washing his feet in a streaming river clear as the eyes of God. The winds came down with the scents of the grass and wild flowers, putting a sweetness to our noses, and taking away so that nobody could tell what beauty had been stolen, only that the winds were old robbers who took something from each grass and flower and gave it back again, and gave a little to each of us, and took it away again."

    "...a tidy house, but open to the weather, and the winds had choir practice whenever they could on every side of it."

    "Ceinwen was in my mind, and I kept her there as men keep libraries of rare books, seldom to be touched but happy to know you have got."

    I wonder if anyone could ever write such a masterpiece again. If I ever thought I could be a writer, I don't now. I suppose I am just a reader, a proper bibliophile. With books like this, it's enough.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2008

    Give the author time to sink in with his poetic beautifully written drama

    I first read this book aged 14 years in England and could not put it down. I sank into the rich green valleys of Wales and Richard Llewellyn's beautifully written words of this unfolding drama. My great great great grandfather was a miner of the same period in history as this book, and how beautifully RL captures hearts and songs and families. I have re-read it three more times since and each time, I find new ways of understanding this book, its hardness, its struggle, its softness and its poetry. A WORD OF ADVICE to all those unused to the lilt of of the Welsh language when translated into English. Try to get to hear by whatever means possible, this rendition of the book, by tapes or internet. It will deepen your appreciation for this book a millionfold if you can get to grips with the language and meanings,it is well worth the effort! 'The flowers are hard at work for the bees.'

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2004

    No words can express its beauty..full of gems

    I was fortunate to find a 1940 copy of this book in the library with no bookjacket to distract me, and I was drawn, by the most beautiful language,into a tale so rich, I read, breathed, ate and slept it for days until I was through. I am sorry to part with it now,but as the author said, it will remain with me always. It was interesting, as a woman, to hear how a man feels as he grows up. Passion, regret, longing, grief, ecstasy, and joy....it's all there.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2000

    A Lovely Read

    It's a story that's been told hundreds of times-the coming of age of a young boy, but this time it's told right. We are immediately drawn into the story of Huw, the youngest son of an old-time coal-miner and his wife in a small Welsh town. The story follows Huw through adolescence, his first love, loss, and finally adulthood. He is torn between his father's dreams of going to school and becoming a professional, and his dreams of mining the coal that is the livelihood of the valley. However, Huw finds that the coal is not the same as in the idealistic days of his youth. Labor unions, pollution, and friction between young workers tear the valley right through the middle-through the coal. How Green Was My Valley is a universal and beautifully written story and applies to all people who have ever loved, lost or been part of a family.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2014

    This is NOT the book by R. Llewellyn

    I was very disappointed to realize that this was a literary criticism and not the actual text of the book. The information online is sparse and incomplete. I am unfamiliar with what the Penguin Active Reading series is and there is no explanation online. Plus $18.00 for something that is 96-pages! Seriously?

    Needless to say, I needed to seek out a store to return this - and I did. Very disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2014

    Recommend

    Recommend

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2013

    Pure poetry.  A beautiful story about a remarkable boy and his f

    Pure poetry.  A beautiful story about a remarkable boy and his family told in a lyrical style that makes you feel as though you're there in Wales with them.  After reading this book, I found it hard to read current fiction - it just couldn't begin to compare!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2013

    Beautiful

    This is an excellent reading experience that Iplace on equal rating with "To Kill a Mockingbird". Both are written in the language of place and time, and tell a story of family and love in hard times. It is love that keeps each family together through all the hardships and creates joy in the small pleasures of daily life.

    I feel sorry for the students who read this and hated it. They didn'care for the nearly poetic language. And the is no "plot" here, no action-adventure, no superheroes, only a boy growing to manhood in a very real world slowly giving way to the pollution of a growing slag heap that will eventually engulf his home.

    This is book for those who want to sit down with book and become a member of its family. To sit in the Morgan's dining room and share Sunday dinner with them, share their joys and sorrows, is an experience like going home after a long absence.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2013

    Loved this book.

    Such a beautiful read. Couldnt wait til read part each evening. Highly recommend

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  • Posted July 22, 2013

    Highly recommended for those with Welsh heritage!

    This was a wonderful story that readily portrayed the history of Wales and it's coal mining heritage.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2013

    Couldn't put it down!

    Thoroughly enjoyed this Welsh mining town tale. It filled in the blanks left by the movie version.

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  • Posted March 6, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent

    Wonderful story of life in a Welch coal mining town. Movie classic also excellent.

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  • Posted April 13, 2009

    Lyrical Prose

    The prose in this book is absolutely beautiful. A previous reviewer noted that one should try to read the book imagining a native Welsh speaker reading it to you aloud - if this can be accomplished then the true lyrical nature of the prose will more sharply defined. This may slow one down but it is worth the effort, if only for a few pages here and there. The narrative is compelling and the characters so well developed it is easy to imagine knowing them personally. For anyone who has seen the film: the book is miles better and is well worth the visit.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2006

    I'm incapable of describing how good this book is

    If only I could write with half of the poetry that LLewellyn does I could convey to you just how good this book is. I'm truly sitting here struggling to put into words how much this book means to me and I just can't. You become a part of this book. I've read it twice and was laughing, crying, and smiling the whole time. I feel like I've lived Huw's life. PHENOMONAL!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2003

    It's not what I expected...

    I had to read this book for a summer English project my sophmore year of HS. I did not like this book, because it was VERY hard to get in to, and there were too many charecters to keep straight. On the other hand, it had it's good points too.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2003

    A true companion for a life time!

    If my children grow up to read this book and feel for it genuinely I will rest assured that they will grow to be honest men.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2003

    I wished I could be in that Valley

    There is sad I am. For I could not read the whole book in the time allotment that I was given. There is also happiness with me, too -because even without reading the whole book, it has brought me knew light into what Wales was like. It is a wonderfully written novel, and I enjoyed every aspect of it. I had never knew anything about Wales before, and I hope to visit it someday to expand my growing knowledge of such a beautiful place... if it is still beautiful ...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2002

    A Book You Will Never Foget - Never!

    I picked up this book at the library, never realizing what a prize I held in my hands. Who would have thought that a book about growing up in a little Welsh coal mining town would turn out to be such a find! It is indeed the very best book that I have ever read. From the first page to the last page, I was deeply touched by the beauty of the words as the story of Huw and his family unfolded before me. A great find!

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