Author: Aeronwy Thomas

ISBN: 978-1-61608-101-0

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing

Click Here To Purchase My Father's Places: A Memoir by Dylan Thomas' Daughter

Aeronwy Thomas tells the story of her life with her father Dylan Thomas and her mother Caitlin in a novel that reveals much about this poet and father. The daughter of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, Aeronwy Thomas has a childhood anything but normal. Overshadowed by her father’s unruly behavior and his erratic relationship with her and dealing with her parent’s stormy relationship the author recounts her life with Dylan Thomas. Living in a Boat House in Laughane, South West Wales, she describes the multi-faceted personality of her father. He was a man who often tried to protect her from her mother’s wrath and  would see her in public and pretend not to notice  her. From her own unique perspective she tells her story of being a devoted daughter and ardent follower of her father’s poetry.

Living with a family that was poor and owing money to many of the business owners where they resided, living in anything but luxury was her life. Her mother would reprimand her for the smallest infraction. Her father spent most of his mornings at the Brown’s Hotel drinking or betting on horses. Coming home for a meager meal and then retire to his shed to write. His wife imposed a strict regime on him and would lock him in the shed until 7 to complete his writing leaving the children to fend for themselves.

Getting to know Aeronwy is interesting as she weaves her story and engulfs the reader into the life she had with these two parents who seemed oblivious to her needs and wants most of the time. Forced to act like a grownup and given many responsibilities that a young child should not have, the reader wonders how she survived in such an environment.

Reading about the holidays, her childhood and how she learned to live with less, the author allows the reader to enter the life of a young child who wanted to find a place for herself in her family and to be noticed by her parents who always seemed distracted and often too busy to pay attention to her in a positive way. Turning to her grandparents for refuge, she often found comfort in their guidance, warmth and kindness helping her to deal with her mother’s outbursts, violent temper and her father’s neglect.

The author wrote this memoir in the first person allowing the reader to understand her thoughts and experience her feelings first hand as she recounts the events of her childhood and eventually her later life. The author describes her father’s infidelities, her mother’s ire towards him and the rows they had that causing the family to separate at times. .

His successes in poetry and his publication of Collected Poems, which were dedicated to Caitlin, gave his family reason to celebrate. However, the death of his father played an important role and Dylan became depressed and no longer had anyone to do the daily crossword puzzle with. Read about his many trips to London, the states and numerous other places and go on the journey along with Aeronwy Thomas, her mother, Dolly, Margaret Taylor, family and so many more into a world that was filled with turmoil, strife, laughter, alcohol and a man named Dylan Thomas whose legacy and poems will live on forever.

Before he died he sent our author to the Arts Educational School. Her favorite remembrance of her father was the times they shared reading together and feverishly discussing the plot of The Wind in the Willows.

Completing his first play Under Milk Wood in 1953. She was at boarding school when her father died. Her mother and father fought, hated and yet loved each other greatly even though he had many transgressions, which you will learn as; you read this memoir of his life. Read about the shed where he wrote, a young girl who just wanted his acceptance and love. Dylan Thomas was a Romantic poet, heavy drinker, and flirted with controversy in his private life. But, he was so much more. Poetry filled with metaphors and paints a vivid picture in the reader’s mind and creates a record of his individual struggle from darkness toward some measure of light, as Thomas put it himself.

Read this memoir and remember this great poet whose poems were filled with rhyme, meter and rhythm used in the traditional forms of writing poems. Trying to promote the legacy of her father, let’s remember that our author was a poet in her own right and a great speaker and a patron of the Dylan Thomas Society. It is befitting that her ashes were scattered at the Boat House. Her father’s places, there were so many she wrote about in this great tribute.

As I read some of his poems and got to understand and know him better by reading his work and reading this heartfelt, straightforward and informative memoir of one of the greatest poets of our time written by an amazing woman: His Daughter. I dedicate the review to the memory of Aeronwy Thomas.  

Click Here To Purchase My Father's Places: A Memoir by Dylan Thomas' Daughter