The Valley Sagas
A Welcome in the Valley
A delightful post-war saga set in a charming Welsh town
The little Welsh village of Hen Carw Parc – the old deer park – seems to be an island of rural tranquility. But the inhabitants are a lively and varied community – and none more so than Nelly Luke, the cheerful Cockney widow who for many years has made the ramshackle cottage on the village outskirts her cosy, if unconventional, home.
Although her eccentric lifestyle is the despair of her social-climbing daughter Evie, Nelly’s warmth and wisdom win her many friends. There’s Fay, the young newly-wed whose marriage is haunted by the all-too-substantial ghost of her first love, lost in the war; Amy, the glamorous shopkeeper whose private life is colourful indeed; and her dignified sister Prue, whose family cupboard contains more than a few skeletons.
Against the mounting excitement of the Coronation summer, Nelly steers her friends and family through storm and sunshine alike…
Painting a lively yet realistic picture of village life in post-war Wales, this is a heartwarming story of ordinary people and their far-from-ordinary lives. A Welcome in the Valley is the first book in Grace Thompson’s Valley agas, and is sure to engross readers of Maureen Reynolds and Rosie Clarke.
A touching story of village life in the heart of Wales
Nelly Luke is a Cockney born and bred, but after thirteen years in Hen Carw Parc, Dirty Nelly and her eccentric ways are as much part of village life as its most senior citizen, old Grandad Owen. But not even Nelly, with her shrewd eye on village goings-on, can predict the surprises in store for her family and friends as the year 1954 opens in the tranquil Welsh valley.
For the new year brings new faces: handsome Maurice Davies is just back from five years in the army and Sheila Powell, a Llangwyn shop-girl, is eager to help him make up for lost time. But for some there’s no escaping the past, and newly widowed Prue Beynon finds herself confronted by a legacy she’d rather forget. For youngsters like Nelly’s grandson Ollie even the quiet rural valley holds the promise of new adventures – and unexpected dangers.
Through the turn of the seasons, through fair weather and foul, Nelly Luke watches over the valley’s affairs with a wry chuckle – and of course a helping hand when it’s due…
The second of Grace Thompson’s acclaimed Valley agas, Valley Affairs is a warm-hearted, nostalgic novel sure to draw you into the life of this charming Welsh village.
The Changing Valley
The outside world is coming to the Welsh valleys…
The small South Wales village of Hen Carw Parc is a haven of rural peace, a gentle backwater where the rhythms of life flow at a time-honoured pace. But times are changing and, although Nelly Luke and the older villagers stick resolutely to tradition, the younger ones have caught tantalising glimpses of a world beyond their quiet valley.
For ambitious Fay Cartwright the lure of a career strains her marriage to home-loving Johnny still further, while Amy, the happy-go-lucky shopkeeper, is saddened when her son is given Army leave but fails to return to his family home.
And there are other, more serious intrusions, not least a spate of robberies whose ruthless perpetrator looks likely to be one of their own. But despite the trauma of change, the life of the village continues, fuelled as ever by the humour, kindness and surprising wisdom of, the incomparable Nelly.
A vivid and warm-hearted portrait of a changing village community, The Changing Valley is the third of Grace Thompson’s Valley sagas. A delightful, charming read, it evokes a lost way of life which many will recall with enduring affection.
Valley in Bloom
Every village has its secrets… the charming conclusion to the Valley sagas
As 1954 draws to an end, the village of Hen Carw Parc is changing. The post-war boom brings a creeping lethargy as the villagers stay in watching their new TV sets, instead of going out to enjoy each other’s company.
As usual, however, Nelly is busy keeping tabs on the villagers’ comings and goings. There’s Griff, whose thieving and dishonesty have long-lasting repercussions, Sheila, whose pregnancy sets tongues wagging, and George, whose helpfulness masks a deeper problem…
In an effort to revive flagging community spirit, the villagers enter the Best Kept Village competition – but a cricket match between ‘The Council Houses’ and ‘The Village Proper’ threatens to splits them apart…
Charming and bittersweet, Valley in Bloom is the final instalment in Grace Thompson’s Valley novels, a nostalgic depiction of life in post-war Wales sure to enthral readers of her Holidays at Home, Pendragon Island, and Badgers Brook saga series.