Cover Image: Flowers of War

Flowers of War

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Member Reviews

Llŷr Gwyn Lewis is a Welsh poet and writer. In this book, after being given a package of personal papers and letters by his grandfather, he goes on a journey of self-discovery and tries to connect himself to his great-uncle, who died in Syria during the Second World War.	

I found Llŷr an engaging writer, especially in the passages where he is with and talking about his grandparents and their memories, but it took a while for me to get into this book. It is easy to see Llŷr's gifts as a writer, but it felt disconnected at times and there were a lot of long sentences that lost me somewhere in the middle. I liked the reminiscences of the trip he made as a younger man through Europe, stopping at places such as Prague and Krakow, but struggled to find an overarching sense of narrative so far as the wider journey was concerned.	

In some ways, I think Llŷr struggled himself because of present-day Syria being inaccessible due to the ongoing conflict in the region so he couldn't visit the place where his great-uncle died. In that sense, he doesn't find the closure he was looking for.

The translation from Welsh is excellent; however, I imagine it must have been difficult translating such long sentences.	

Although this isn't a book I will personally be adding to my collection, I would be happy to read some of Llŷr's poetry.	

I was sent an advance review copy of this book by Parthian Books, in return for an honest appraisal.
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Unfortunately this book wasn’t for me.
I couldn’t decide if it was fiction or non-fiction, and even after I found out it was semi-autobiographical, it still didn’t read as one or the other. 
I felt it was a bit rambling, with sentences that went on for an entire page or more, which made it difficult to read. After doing some research, I can see this is Llyr’s first foray into prose writing as opposed to poetry and I think that’s quite clear. It’s full of description and you can tell there’s a kind of rhythm to the writing you would normally see in a poem, but I didn’t think it worked in this case. I felt some bits were really out of place with others and didn’t add anything to the overall story. 
Sadly, this book just didn’t sit well with me.
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