Jul 15, 2010

South Wales coal-mining disaster and World War II explored in new novel

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against the Odds by Thomas T Moynihan front cover detail

Coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the Dunkirk evacuation, the novel To Win Against the Odds tells us of Thomas Jones’s extraordinary early life-story. Abandoned by his father at birth, he is bullied at school in the valleys of south Wales. His grandmother gives the seven-year-old boxing lessons to defend himself. At fourteen he works the coalface of Drum colliery and survives the flooding of the pit. Two years later, he has enrolled in the British Army and sees action in World War II before being wounded and evacuated from Dunkirk. On his return to south Wales he trains to become a teacher and is reconciled with valley life, starting yet another extraordinary chapter in his young life.

The novel melds several common storylines that affected the lives of many men in the first half of the twentieth century. Thomas lived through desperate times but in the end he was one of the lucky ones…

Thomas T. Moynihan was born in 1947 and was raised in Ystalyfera in the upper Swansea Valley. He started work at 15 years of age at Ynyscedwyn Colliery before moving on to an engineering factory. He is married with two children, and is presently working with adults with special learning needs. This is his debut novel.

To Win Against the Odds is published by Y Lolfa in June 2010.


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