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Manon Steffan Ros was born in Snowdonia and worked as an actress before becoming a writer. She writes for adults and children and has won the Wales Book of the Year for her adult fiction as well as being four-times winner of the Tir na N'Og Welsh children's literature award. She has also won Eisteddfod and National Theatre Wales awards for her drama writing. She lives in north Wales with her sons.
At first glance this looks like a short, light novel but how wrong anyone would be to think that. Translated from the original Welsh, this is a deep thought-provoking novel – filled with actions and philosophical questions that create a lasting impression. Dylan was only 6 when the world as he knew it stopped. The electricity went off, everyone left - and just him and his Mum were left to survive on a remote Welsh mountainside above the village of Nebo - with no services. Now 14, Dylan has learned new survival skills and is as wise as any adult. On a scavenging raid into Nebo, they find a blank notebook with a blue cover and decide to use it to record their thoughts and actions – neither reading the others writings. The two voices in the notebook show the scale, horror, and commitment to survive for each other – and the secrets they both keep. The background to the story is so strange, quite unsettling in places, that the reader is entirely caught up in their day-to-day struggles, their fears, and their triumphs. Set in such a bleak scenario the book could be very dark – but although it does have moments of darkness, the love and sense of hope pervading the story wins out creating an immersive, emotive experience. A difficult read in terms of its subject matter but one that will live with the reader in a very positive way.