Addlands: A Novel
Addlands by Tom Bullough seems at first to be the story of one man, Idris Hamer, owner of Funnon Farm in a county that considers itself neither Wales nor England but a land apart. It could also be said that the story has at its center the mother, Etty, around whom everything revolves. Or perhaps it is about Oliver, the son who eventually returns to the farm with his own child, thus continuing the family’s connection. I would argue that the novel is, actually, the story of the land, which is a true paradox, ever changing with the seasons yet constant across the years in many ways.
Like the land of Wales itself, Bullough’s writing is a myriad of pleasant contradictions. Both are at once complex yet simple and straightforward, hauntingly beautiful and harshly realistic. Reading this book is like sitting in a pub with an old Welshman as he describes the place he has grown old in. There is no rush; he has all the time in the world and describes every detail in such a way as you feel like you are walking by his side through the valley of his childhood. When he is finished, you find the place has become a part of your very soul.
|The Dial Press
|Buy this Book