O Ddawns i ddawns - Gareth F. Williams

Updated: Mar 5

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Nofel eironig, agos i’r asgwrn a brathog o ffraeth

Ironic, witty and hard-hitting novel.


♥♥Enillydd Gwobr Tir na n-Og 1991 Award Winner♥♥


Genre: arddegau / teenage

Gwerth addysgiadol/educational value: ◉◎◎◎◎ Negeseuon positif/positive messages: ◉◉◎◎◎

Themau trist,anodd/upsetting, tough themes: ◉◎◎◎◎

Trais, ofn/violence, scary: ◉◎◎◎◎

Iaith gref/language: ◉◎◎◎◎

Rhyw/sex: ◉◉◉◎◎

Her darllen/reading difficulty:: ◉◉◉◉◎

O Ddawns i ddawns oedd nofel gyntaf y diweddar Gareth F. Williams - fy hoff awdur yn y Gymraeg. Erioed. Enillodd y nofel yma’r Wobr Tir na n-Og yn 1991 ac er bod nifer o flynyddoedd wedi mynd heibio, mae’r llyfr yn dal yn berthnasol ac yn werth ei ddarllen hyd heddiw.



Dyweda Manon Steffan Ros, awdur profiadol, fod hwn yn un o’i hoff nofelau gan ei bod hi’n gallu uniaethu efo’r cymeriadau a'i bod hi’n ei ail-ddarllen o leiaf unwaith bob blwyddyn!


Wedi ei leoli ym Mhorthmadog, mae’r nofel yn cylchdroi o amgylch bywyd Gwenno, merch ysgol un ar bymtheg oed sy’n ffeindio ei hun mewn tipyn o benbleth ar ôl noson allan feddwol yn y dafarn leol. Mae ei chyfrinach yn rhywbeth a fydd yn sicr o newid ei bywyd am byth. Mae Gwenno yn feichiog ond tydi hi heb ddweud wrth neb eto. Dim wrth Mici, tad y babi, Arwel, ei chyn-gariad, na’i rhieni chwaith. Pan rydym ni’n cwrdd â hi gyntaf mae hi’n dioddef yn dawel gyda’r holl bwysau ar ei hysgwyddau.



Wrth i’r nofel fynd yn ei flaen, mae Gwenno’n cyfaddef wrth ei rhieni ac mae ei thad yn lloerig. Yn dilyn ymweliad at feddyg teuluol, mae Gwenno’n penderfynu ar gael erthyliad. Er mai penderfyniad Gwenno ydi hyn ar ddiwedd y dydd, dwi’n teimlo fod y meddyg wedi ei harwain braidd at y penderfyniad yma. Dwi’n dallt pam y byddai’n argymell erthylu, gan fod derbyn babi i’r byd nad oes neb ei eisiau yn gwneud dim daioni i neb. Mae hyn yn sicr yn codi cwestiwn moesegol cymhleth sy’n berthnasol heddiw. Dwi’n cael y teimlad fod 'na gywilydd mawr o gwmpas sefyllfa Gwenno a bod 'na dipyn o agwedd “What will people think?” o amgylch yr holl beth. Fyddai Gwenno yn cael mwy o gymorth petai hyn yn digwydd heddiw? Dwi’n siŵr fod y stigma cymdeithasol yn bodoli hyd heddiw, yn enwedig ar iard yr ysgol.



Mae hi’n braf darllen nofel sy’n creu cymeriadau real – mae eu hymatebion yn gredadwy iawn, o ystyried y cyfnod ysgrifennwyd y nofel. Tydi tad Gwenno, Ieuan, yn methu delio â’r newyddion ac mae hyn yn rhoi straen ar ei berthynas gyda’i ferch a’i wraig. Mae’r llyfr yn canolbwyntio ar y dosbarth gweithiol Cymraeg – pobl arferol – sy’n beth prin mewn llyfrau Cymraeg. Mae llyfrau Cymraeg yn dueddol o fod mor ddosbarth canol!



Er mai Gareth F. yw fy hoff awdur Gymraeg, wnes i ddim mwynhau’r nofel yma cymaint â’i waith eraill. Dwi’n meddwl byddai’r nofel yma’n apelio fwy at ferched yn eu harddegau nac oedd o i mi. Nid fi, wedi’r cwbl, oedd y gynulleidfa darged! Oes, mae sawl rhan o’r stori wedi dyddio erbyn hyn, ond nid yw hyn yn gwneud y neges yn llai perthnasol na phwysig. A dweud y gwir, dwi’n eithaf mwynhau darllen nofelau ‘chydig yn hŷn achos dwi’n licio’r cult references. Dwi jest a mynd i wrando ar Bruce Springsteen a gwylio’r ffilm Ghost eto fy hun!


Mae’r llyfr yn dal ar gael o wefan Y Lolfa am bris rhesymol o £3.96 ac yn eich llyfrgelloedd lleol.

O Ddawns i ddawns was the first novel of the late Gareth F. Williams – my favourite Welsh author. Ever. This novel won him the Tir na n-Og Award in 1991 and although a number of years have passed, the book is still relevant and worth reading to this day.


Manon Steffan Ros, an experienced author, said that this was one of her favourite novels when growing up as the characters are relatable and she rereads it at least once every year!


Set in Porthmadog, the novel focuses on the life of Gwenno, a sixteen-year-old school girl who finds herself in a bit of bother after a drunken night at the local pub. The result is something that will undoubtedly change her life forever. Gwenno is pregnant but she hasn't told anybody yet. She hasn’t told Mici, the baby's father, Arwel, her ex-boyfriend, or even her parents! When we first meet her she is suffering in silence with the burden on her shoulders, and hers alone.



As the novel progresses, Gwenno finally reveals the news to her parents and her father is not impressed. Following a visit to a family doctor, Gwenno decides to have an abortion. Although it’s Gwenno's decision at the end of the day, I feel that the doctor has led her somewhat to this decision. I understand why he would recommend abortion, given Gwenno’s circumstances. Admitting a baby into the world that nobody wants does no one any good. This certainly raises complex ethical and moral questions that are relevant today. I get the feeling that there’s great deal of shame around Gwenno’s situation and I sense a lot of “what will people think?" Would Gwenno receive better support if this happened today? I'm sure the social stigma of teenage pregnancy still exists to this day, especially in the schoolyard.


It's nice to read a novel that creates real characters – their responses are very plausible, given the time the novel was written. Gwenno's father, Ieuan, cannot deal with the news and has trouble discussing ‘feelings.’ This puts a strain on his relationship with his daughter and his wife. The book focuses on the working-class people of Wales – ordinary people – which is a rare thing in Welsh books. They tend to lean towards the middle class!


Although Gareth F. is my favourite Welsh author, I didn't enjoy this novel as much and his other work. I think this novel would appeal more to teenage girls than it did to me. I was not, after all, the target audience! Yes, many parts of the story are now outdated, but this does not make the core message less relevant or important. In fact, I quite enjoy reading older novels because I like the the cult/retro references. Having read it, I’m almost tempted myself to go and listen to Bruce Springsteen and watch Ghost again!


The book is still available from Y Lolfa’s website at a reasonable price of £3.96 and at your local libraries.


Cyhoeddwyd/released: 1990

Gwasg/publisher: Y Lolfa


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