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garddio yn y gwaed
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.

garddio yn y gwaed gan Pat Clayton

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 Crad’s wives are determined to protect themselves and their sons, but surely there’s 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 what’s going to happen next, Clayton springs a little surprise. Still, with a name like Garddio yn y Gwaed, it’s inevitable that someone is going to bite the dust, and it’s 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
Pat Clayton
ISBN 0 86381 334 8
Gwasg Carreg Gwalch


© suw charman 2002, 2003 unless otherwise stated

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