Gold by Dan Rhodes

This is a lovely, charming book, and a very quick read.  It tells the story of Miyuki, a half Japanese, half Welsh woman, who holidays on her own in the same small Welsh village every year.  Nothing in the village ever changes, and not an awful lot ever happens.  This being the case, there is a  bit of repetition in the book, but this is characteristic of the people and place, and does not detract at all.

However, on this particular holiday, Miyuki decides to get creative with some gold paint, and this leads to a chain of events, which become a big talking point in the village.  While this is ostensibly the foundation of the plot, in truth the book is more about a journey of discovery for Miyuki and the assembled cast of characters.  Along the way, we as readers learn about Miyuki, her background, her relationships and her insecurities. 

For me, the book did not live up to the claim on the cover, of being hilarious, but it was amusing in places, and poignant in other places, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It is the kind of book which I like to curl up with on a cold Sunday afternoon (and that is in fact exactly what I did)!, and which makes you smile.  I was also unprepared for the surprise ending, which was (deliberately I’m sure) ambiguous. 

Overall, I would highly recommend this quirky little gem.

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