Newport landmarks feature in tale of ‘car-free road trip’ by Pontypool author
3:33pm Wednesday 9th October 2013 in Gwent news
An elderly Jewish woman, with all her belongings in a supermarket trolley, camps out with a Muslim teenager on the Coldra roundabout, as they walk from Cardiff to London.
It’s not the latest Argus splash but part of the plotline of a new book set partly in Newport, by Pontypool author David Llewellyn, in which, according to publishers Seren, “generations and cultures collide”.
The novel takes readers on a “car-free road trip” from Cardiff to London, along with protagonists Ibrahim and Reenie who each have their own reasons for needing to make the journey on foot.
Mr Llewellyn, 35, walked from Cardiff to Newport himself to be able to write knowledgeably about it, entering the city via St Mellons and the A48.
When he arrived he took the bus and came back again, but his characters carry on across the city. The novel pauses for a snapshot of Newport’s landmarks following the road from west to east and taking in the Usk river and Transporter Bridge.
As they come to the city limits, Mr Llewellyn writes: “They had reached the Coldra, a large interchange on the far side of Newport, and Ibrahim couldn’t remember another time when he had felt so tired.
In the centre of this interchange, in the shadow of the motorway flyover, lay an oasis of grass and trees, the perfect place to pitch Reenie’s tent.”
Set before the redevelopment of the roundabout prior to the Ryder Cup, the two are able to shelter underneath the motorway.
Mr Llewellyn, 35, now lives in Cardiff but grew up in Pontnewynydd, attending Abersychan Comprehensive School and Pontypool College before going on to Dartington College of Arts.
He started writing the book in August 2010 after hearing an aunt describe a woman in Newport who walked a short distance every day with a trolley full of belongings, pitching her tent near the roadside each night.
Initially he wanted to find the true story behind the woman’s trip, but decided instead to take the story as a starting point for a fictional character.
Mr Llewellyn now lives in Cardiff with his partner Dan Edwards, an artist who designed the cover of the book.
His previous novels include ‘Eleven’ and ‘Everything is Sinister’ and he has also worked on novels for ‘Torchwood’ and ‘Doctor Who’.
‘Ibrahim and Reenie’, by David Llewellyn, is published by Seren and available now for £8.99.
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