by Pat Clayton
The second in Pat Clayton's series for learners, Garddio
yn y Gwaed is an engrossing read. The fact that the story
can keep your attention, even if it takes you ages to read
each chapter, is testament to Clayton's talent.
Popeth yn y Ardd is presented by the unpopular
tv gardener Crad Rowlands and his son Selwyn, but the tv ratings
are terrible and the show is failing. In a desperate attempt
to win back viewers, the production company decides to hold
a gardening competition for towns across Wales.
Behind the scenes, Haf, the researcher, and Dewi, the director,
are surreptitiously filming Crad at his worst, hoping to use
the documentary to discredit him and make room for their new
protégé, a famous Welsh chef.
When a small village called Afon-las gets through to the final
round of the gardening competition, not everyone there is too happy
about it. Ann Williams has spent most of her life trying to forget
Crad, and their disastrous marriage. She had fled to Australia when
pregnant with their child, and as far as her son Huw is concerned,
his father died at sea.
Haf and Dewi are happy that Afon-las are finalists, as it means
that they can get on with making a pilot of the new cookery programme
they hope will take the place of Popeth yn y Ardd. It
is only Haf that notices the uncanny similarity between Huw William,
the award-winning chef, and Selwyn Rowlands.
When it becomes clear that Crad is a bigamist, the scene is set
for a spectacular meeting of the two families. Or is it? Both of
Crads wives are determined to protect themselves and their
sons, but surely theres no reason for murder?
Garddio yn y Gwaed is a hugely enjoyable read, and the plot thwarts
your second-guesses at every turn. Each time you think you know
whats going to happen next, Clayton springs a little surprise.
Still, with a name like Garddio yn y Gwaed, its inevitable
that someone is going to bite the dust, and its less a question
of who? and more a question when and how?.
The format is the same as Hen Ffrindiau, Hen Gelwyddau - short
chapters of two to four pages with an alphabetical list of tricky
vocabulary at the end of each chapter. This time, Gwasg Carreg Gwalch
have decided to also add a full vocabulary at the end of the book.
Good decision. As with Hen Ffrindiau, though, the addition of more
words to the list would have been beneficial.
garddio yn y gwaed
ISBN 0 86381 334 8
Gwasg Carreg Gwalch