WELSH SAINTS ON THE MORMON TRAIL
Wil Aaron (Y Lolfa)
Wil Aaron has told a remarkable historical non-fiction tale in Welsh Saints On The Mormon Trail. On looking at the size of the book, you might believe it unlikely that this 22-year span of the history of Welsh families who emigrated to North America is told succinctly. But when you consider the breadth and scope of experience, and the timeframe that was undertaken for this holistic picture to be painted, it really does achieve a tonal brevity that is crucial for this type of book. It covers the years 1847 to 1869, during which roughly 4,500 Welsh people created and followed the Mormon Trail to Salt Lake City in Utah.
Though much more can (and should) be said for a decision as epic as the one made by these Welsh adventurers all those years ago, a strong theme is identifiable that weaves its way through the book. It is an overarching sense of loyalty, bravery and hardiness – the kind of personality traits that are essential when forging such a pathway through the Rockies, which ceased only after the introduction of the railways. Aaron begins his intricate world-building from the very first page, captivating his readers with a sense of intrigue that’s firmly rooted in the facts, making for a rich and detailed reading experience but also an emotionally invested one. This work’s commitment to exploring this neglected avenue into Welsh history is substantial and impressive. The Welsh Mormon Saints have a fascinating story which, for the most part, has been overlooked. MEGAN THOMAS
Price: £14.99. Info: www.ylolfa.com