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Martha, Jack and Shanco

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Bound together by blood ties, Martha, Jack, and Shanco live on a farm in Wales, where their lives unfold in the eerie half-presence of their dead parents.


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Bound together by blood ties, Martha, Jack, and Shanco live on a farm in Wales, where their lives unfold in the eerie half-presence of their dead parents.

30 review for Martha, Jack and Shanco

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. (view spoiler)[ Bettie's Books (hide spoiler)] (view spoiler)[ Bettie's Books (hide spoiler)]

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bernadette Robinson

    I was sent this book to read by a friend. I'd never heard of this Author before and from reading about the Author and the book prior to reading it, I found out that the book has been translated from Welsh. The story is a very bleak tale, about three unmarried siblings who all live together on a farm in the Welsh Hills. The writing is sparse and beautiful, I hope that the translater has done the original justice. The writing and tale reminded me of The Beacon by Susan Hill. The family ties and loya I was sent this book to read by a friend. I'd never heard of this Author before and from reading about the Author and the book prior to reading it, I found out that the book has been translated from Welsh. The story is a very bleak tale, about three unmarried siblings who all live together on a farm in the Welsh Hills. The writing is sparse and beautiful, I hope that the translater has done the original justice. The writing and tale reminded me of The Beacon by Susan Hill. The family ties and loyalties among the three run deep, but there is also an underlying tension too. I found this a thought provoking read, it's not overly long but it sure does pack a punch or two. How would we have reacted to the family situations if we had been in their shoes?

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    just extra-ordinarily moving. It's descriptive passages are very beautiful and the characters are powerfully drawn and you feel so strongly for them, the injustice of their lives and the strange bonds they form even in amidst the disappointments and stupidities that are inflicted upon them and sometimes by them. An amazing novel. fantastic. I only wish i could read welsh so as to be able to read it in its original language

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    What an unexpected delight this was. At times, it felt reminiscent of Evie Wyld's All The Birds, Singing- the depth of feelings rolling beneath the stoic surface of unsentimental country people, the remants of a fading lifestyle, and the sparseness of prose. Edrych ymlaen at ei ddarllen o yn y Gymraeg- roedd y cyfieithiad yn gynnil a phrydferth, ond dw i'n gobeithio meddru gwerthfawrogi'r ceinder am y llyfr cyntefig.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Weirdly quiet dysfunctional family tale set among an aging set of three siblings (Jack, Martha, and Shanco, who has a developmental disability of some sort) on a farm in Wales. Found via the A Year of Reading the World blog/book - it was the book Ann chose for her UK book. The perspective shifts are occasionally fuzzy but I think that might be an artifact of translation from Welsh.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Brian Robbins

    I still do daily battle with the suicidal tendencies reading this book engendered. Superbly written, but like Hardy without the light bits - and if you can find those you're doing pretty well.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    A joyfully depressing book, intercepted with interludes of - dare I say - quaintness of antiquity, timelessness, and how far the ties of family bonds could stretch.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nellu

    Enjoyed this tale of three siblings and their complicated relationship very much but I felt some storytelling solutions were clumsy (thus the three stars). Still, absolutely worth the read, a dark but beautiful picture of a family whose roots are too deep in the past and the land for them to move forward in time.

  9. 4 out of 5

    janetandjohn

    This is not a badly written book, but I did find it seriously depressing, hence the lower score. Life on a small Welsh farm owned by three siblings who are well into middle age. If Thomas Hardy was alive today, this is the kind of tale he would have written (and reading him does depress me).

  10. 5 out of 5

    (a)lyss(a)

    "We've all got 'ave something to live for." Maybe if this book hadn't been hyped up so much I would have enjoyed it more, but I went into it expecting a thought-provoking experience so my expectations where high. I think it had me reading into things that weren't there. While the story takes a while to get in to, it's also rather short. Frankly it's a really sad book. And I don't think the full impact hit me until the end and I think that's the beauty of this story - it all builds toward that trag "We've all got 'ave something to live for." Maybe if this book hadn't been hyped up so much I would have enjoyed it more, but I went into it expecting a thought-provoking experience so my expectations where high. I think it had me reading into things that weren't there. While the story takes a while to get in to, it's also rather short. Frankly it's a really sad book. And I don't think the full impact hit me until the end and I think that's the beauty of this story - it all builds toward that tragic final line and my does it pack a punch but I didn't love the whole journey there. Overall it's well done, but not the most intriguing book I've picked up.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Roger Boyle

    [Via H - not sure if she really liked it] A really recognisable picture of a lifestyle that the author rightly says is fast going, and very good because of that. Cannot really say I liked it as I feel the translation let it down often, and the drama was really a little too far OTT.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    This book was so sad and then the ending was even sadder. But really good. It's the type to stay with you after you've put it down.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Eleri Griffiths

  14. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Dee

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lois Jones

  16. 5 out of 5

    Virginia Weiss

  17. 5 out of 5

    Wyn Turner

  18. 4 out of 5

    Steve Burrow

  19. 5 out of 5

    Catrin Mai

  20. 4 out of 5

    Shawn Mooney (Shawn The Book Maniac)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tim Shawcross

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jo-anne Davies

  25. 4 out of 5

    Heledd Hawkins

  26. 5 out of 5

    Siwan Sloman

  27. 4 out of 5

    Delyth

  28. 5 out of 5

    Myrddin

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dewi

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Raymer

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