The jeweller prepares the sanctuary. And you’re lured into it.
Mari is a market stallholder in a small North Welsh town. Ordinary enough. Except The Jeweller is written by Caryl Lewis, who also wrote the fabulously dark hit thriller series Y Gwyll / Hinterland (which was filmed in both languages, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you should). So this isn’t going to stay ordinary. And based on that, one wonders if it is going to end well.
Mari lives all alone with her cat and … her pet monkey. And she doesn’t just sell jewels, she makes them.
The gem shines bright. And peace flows out of it.
Is everything going to be all right, then? The tension as Mari cuts the jewel is extraordinary. The tension in her as she unravels her own past is, too.
The sea crashes cold. And who will fall prey to it?
Reading a translation from Welsh is always bittersweet for me, as it probably is for many people born in South Wales. The language is and isn’t ours – it would have been ours if we had been born earlier, perhaps, so that it hadn’t been stamped out of our (great, great) grandparents at school. Not that my parents were born in Wales anyway. One of my life’s regrets is that I didn’t take Welsh A level as I thought it “wouldn’t be useful” – and I don’t live there anymore. So Gwen Davies’ translation is all the more precious. And it hurls you into the wind and the sea and the shore, the landscape that for me, will always be home.
[…] Lewis’s writing is tense and spare and true. I loved Y Gemydd which I read as The Jeweller in Gwen Davies’s translation, and Drift, her first novel in English. Then I found out she’d […]