Folk Music

Sheenagh Pugh
Publication Date: 
Thursday, December 2, 1999
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Set in a country lying somewhere between Wales and central Asia, in a time which might be the middle ages or the near-present, Folk Music is a rounded and satisfying portrayal of a small rural community, its loves and its conflicts, and the tensions which threaten its cohesion.
Central to the story is the convention that, on marriage, a woman does not speak to anyone, except in private to her husband, until the birth of her first child.

Through a subtly-entwined narrative which tells the tale from a variety of perspectives, Pugh crafts a story at once tender and thought-provoking, forcing the reader to confront the prejudices and preconceptions of contemporary sophistication. This is a novel of rare depth, power and ambiguity, its central metaphor reaching beyond the lives of its characters, parallelling our modern dilemma: does the abandonment of tradition leave us only with rootlessness and dislocation?

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