A Welsh revolution. Imagine that. Drawn to the pastel colours in the cover and the story being set in Wales, this book looked like it may be something different. Very contemporary (as in post Covid-19) it looks at many political and current issues facing rural areas such as Wales. The story is mainly told from three main points of view: a police officer who had served during the riots in Bradford, an educated political activist and thug, and an 'outsider' journalist from London. A lot of perspectives mingle with other characters and there is a mish-mash of head-hopping that includes the police officer's wife and children through to various journalists and police officers who join the story later.
It is an interesting read about the issues facing a fictitious Welsh seaside town, such as central government funding and outsiders settling and taking houses that locals cannot afford. The outsiders in this instance are English, some wanting to live their lives in the beautiful country that Wales is, while others want to change it, to bring it up to date like modern English towns. Because of Covid many people now work from home and quite a few realised that they are no longer tied to their workplace in a way they once were, so why not move to the seaside? Many of the characters are typical of 1950s England with their sexist and racist attitudes and adversity to change. I'm not sure how accurate this is of Wales - but this is a work of fiction.
This is an enjoyable book that looks at the traditional status quo and the challenges of modernity and the decisions that need to be faced to earn a living. At times the stereotypes seem a little farcical so I wondered if the book is a satire, especially regarding the police. The tale is about the revolution from its beginning to its whimpering end and covers every gripe rural folk ever had, even the invasions of the English king Edward I in the thirteenth century. Well written (if you exclude the head hopping and unlikable stereotypes) the book makes a pleasant change. Can't wait to go back to Wales.
Published by Matador on 9 August 2021.
Advanced review copy supplied by the publisher.
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