SSi Forum

The SSiW Welsh Book Club 📖 📚 👓


I’ve just realised that although I see Llyfr Glas Nebo mentioned everywhere, it hasn’t been discussed in much detail in this thread, since @gruntius mentioned it straight off the bat at the start of the thread.

This was the first book I read that wasn’t for learners, and I read it straight after finishing the Cyfres Amdani Uwch books. As with pretty much everything I read I had to look some stuff up in a dictionary but this didn’t feel orders of magnitude harder than the Cyfres Amdani books, so a good next step.

As with so many books I found the first few chapters the hardest, as I got into the style of the book and the rhythm of the language.

The book takes the format of a diary written by a mother and son who haven’t had much formal schooling so the spelling felt fairly colloquial to me, lots of “sgin i’m” etc. I think Ssiw learners will have an advantage here as we’re used to hearing the language as it’s spoken, so my top tip is to read unfamiliar words aloud. It will probably be easier for readers familiar with Northern forms.

The other complication is that the characters reveal what has happened over the course of the book, so there’s a lot of missing/inconsistent information at the start. That can be hard as a learner where you often depend on context to help you understand the language. I did an airpunch after a few chapters because there was something I thought I must have misunderstood because it didn’t make sense, but my understanding was actually fine and it didn’t make sense! So if you’re confused to start, don’t worry.

Once I got into the rhythm of the language and the story I found it utterly gripping, and it’s still haunting me a few weeks later. I’m purposely not saying anything about the plot because we can all use Google, but I will say I found it a powerful read having lived through 2020. It’s not about a pandemic but I’m sure last year gave me a different perspective on the story. I’m really sad for English speakers that they don’t get to read this.


I liked “Y Bwthyn” by Caryl Lewis. Its the first book of hers that I’ve read :slight_smile: I’ve seen the dramatisation of “Martha, Jac a Sianco” on S4C but I’ve yet to read it. Its on the pile! :slight_smile:


I wanted to chip in with my two pence worth on the Melanai trilogy by Bethan Gwanas. I was so excited to read these as YA fantasy is my favourite genre in English.

In terms of grammar/complexity I found these easier than some of the Uwch books I’d been reading (not surprising since they’re YA). However oh my I had forgotten how much specific vocab there is in fantasy novels around horses, weapons etc. :laughing: But also pretty predictable from context and experience so not too hard going.

The books themselves are a nice mix of some very conventional tropes and a different take on things so interesting to read. I enjoyed books two and three more than book one so am glad I bought the trilogy.

Definitely recommend if fantasy is your genre.


Yes, these are really good stories - I enjoyed them and would recommend them too! :slight_smile:


Just in case anyone is interested - appropriate for lefel uwch, but there will be a question and answer session in which Rebecca says she is happy to receive questions in Welsh or English. :slight_smile:

Llechi - Manon Steffan Ros

Attention all keen readers!!!

  • Are you an avid reader of Welsh books?
  • Do you like sharing your opinions and reviews of Welsh books with others?
  • Would you be interested in taking this a step further and possibly write a review for a Welsh publisher?

The wonderful Nia Parry and Welsh publishers Gwasg Carreg Gwalch want your reviews!

They are looking for Welsh learners to write reviews for a new book about Welsh legends.

If you would like to get involved than please send me a private message via this forum with your full name and email and I will pass on your details to Nia Parry.

Diolch yn fawr iawn! :smiley: :books: :open_book: :bookmark: :fountain_pen:

pinned globally #509


Very interested in doing this but how do I make a message via the forum private? And can I assume the review doesn’t have to be in Welsh?


I can’t help with whether the review should be in Welsh, but I can help with the private message bit.

If you click on the picture of the person you want to send a private message to, you’ll see a blue ‘message’ button. Click on that and it will take you to where you can write a private message.

When you receive a private message, you’ll see a green dot by your picture in the top bar. Click on your picture and then on the little envelope icon. That will take you to your private message inbox.


Thanks for sorting me out once again, Siaron.


[Sorry, have forgotten how to attach specifically to the SSiW Welsh Book Club thread, which doesn’t come up in the pulldown bit on the right - can someone remind me?]

My latest read has been ‘Llechi’ by Manon Steffan Ros. I really enjoyed this: a very unusual whodunit and a real page-turner. No problem with the language, which as usual with Manon is very clear, but I have the feeling I may have missed some subtle clues in the somewhat tricky narrative, because I still can’t decide how to interpret this. It’s not really possible to discuss the plot without giving away spoilers, but basically I would be quite interested to know if other readers think that the teenage narrator is a) completely reliable and telling it as it happened, b) more or less reliable but with some of his perceptions skewed or c) totally unreliable, though possibly unaware of his own motivations. My own view started as b) but now inclines to c)…


I’ve moved your post about Manon Steffan Ross’ Llechi. here to the Welsh Book Club thread, @Davids. :slight_smile:


I have just bought this too. Should be a fun read.


Oops , that was meant to be a reply Uber @gisella-albertini’s post about Charlie a’r Ffatri Siocled.


just finished reading it (with a lot of looking up in the dictionary). I too felt I must have missed subtle clues because the reason for the act did not come across sufficiently strong enough to me.


Thanks Janette, glad it’s not just me having trouble.


Wow, just finished Gwrach y Gwyllt by Bethan Gwanas. Was not expecting that! Funny, sexy, sad, and easier than anything I’ve read for a while (certainly easier than Y Nant). Can’t wait to read the sequel!


@caroline-18 I have added it to my reading list.


Add them both @franhunni!! :slight_smile: In fact, add anything by Bethan Gwanas to your list - her stories are brilliant and her language is great for learners/new speakers!! What about “Amdani!”, “Hi yw fy ffrind”, “Hy oedd fy ffrind” too? I also really recommend her books written for teenagers as a great way to cross the bridge from books written for learners to proper “grown up” books - the “Edenia” triology is excellent!! :slight_smile:


I also give Hi yw fy ffrind by Bethan Gwanas the thumbs up. It’s not the kind of book I’d normally read - it tells the story of two friends growing up in the 70s. If it were in English I’m pretty sure you’d see it at stations in the chick-lit section, which rightly or wrongly I never go near.

However parts of it did move me to tears and the relationship between the characters is compelling. Importantly it was very readable and I didn’t think it was highly dialectal. Because it’s based around home and school the vocab is very accessible, and there’s lots of dialogue, which tends to follow predictable themes and patterns .

Admittedly each book I read makes the next easier but if I were doing things again I’d make this the first book I read that wasn’t for learners.

(Edited to fix typos and reference the author for search purposes.)