FAMILY FEELING by Judith Saxton


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A first novel and love story set in early 20th-century Wales, wherein a single family expands, marries, and remarries largely among itself to produce an odd, incestuous sort of romantic tension. Ella is giving birth to twin boys, already being mother to three sons, when she learns that her collier husband, Ben, has been killed in a mining accident. She quickly decides to give one of the twins to her sister, and finds herself disliking the remaining twin as well. This one, Hywel, grows up to fall in love with the mine boss's odd, tomboyish daughter, Dot Teggyd, who, believing herself spurned by him in favor of his stepsister, Jessica, leaves her Wales home to her father's illegitimate heir, and marries an Italian restauranteur living in England Meanwhile, Hywel's twin, Huw, has developed ""feelings"" for his own sister, Helen, whom he is later delighted to find is merely his cousin. Jessica doesn't really want Hywel, who didn't really want her either and, following a horrible mine accident, Dot returns from England with one of her children to look Hywel up. Though she doesn't want to force herself on him (""Everything needs balance. If you have a weight of love on one side and a feather of feeling on the other everything crashes""), she soon finds his feelings have remained as constant as her own over the years. She divests herself of her husband and troths herself to Hywel and her beloved Wales, while Huw, predictably, decides to marry sister-cousin, Helen. Convoluted though it is, this offers that rich (if slightly corny) Delderfieldesque tone that can catch and cosset the reader.

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 1987
Publisher: St. Martin's