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Title: “Two lives”

Author: Helen Naylor

Genre: Romance

This is a book from the publisher Cambridge University Press.

First published in 2001.


The novel tells a love story between two teenagers, Huw and Megan who live in Tredonald in Wales, around the year 1946.

They fall in love but he goes to Canada so that his father does not start drinking or suffering again. And they know nothing more of each other. He sends letter to her but her father does not let her see them. Fifty years later they know something else about each other. Huw discovers he is a father.  Huw comes back to Tredonald to meet his daughter. Megan is getting married to Paul, but at the end she will marry Huw.


Huw Thomas: he is 16 years old. He lives with his father, David, and his brother, Gareth. His mother died when he was younger. He works in the mine with his brother but he studies too. He goes to Canada so that his father does not start drinking or suffering again.

Gareth Thomas: Huw’s brother works and dies in the mine.

David Thomas: Huw’s father drinks and spends all the money on it.

Megan Jenkins: a sixteen-year-old schoolgirl, works in the family’s shop in the town.

Harry Jenkins: Megan’s father.

Beth Jones: Megan’s daughter lives in Cardiff.

Philip Jones: Beth’s husband likes golf.

Paul: Megan’s fiancé.

Mike: Huw’s son lives in Toronto.

Rebecca: Mike’s wife.


I love this story because the plot is the best; it is a story that grips you. The best part is at the end when you know with whom she is going to stay and the worst part is when they are separated. This story almost made me cry.

This story made me learn new words that I didn’t know.


I recommend this book because the love story between Huw and Megan is very interesting because you do not know how it will end until the end.

Yolanda reviews ‘Two Lives’

Posted by MJESUS BALAN FERNANDEZ under Book reviews, Elementary, Two lives


“Two lives” is a romantic story written by Helen Naylor and was first published in 2001 by Cambridge University Press.

Set in a little coal miner village called Tredonald in Wales in 1946, the novel tells the story of two sixteen year old lovers, Megan and Huw, from different social backgrounds.

Megan Jenkins is a good girl who lives with her parents. She studies and works in the family´s shop in the town.

Huw Thomas lives with his father, David, and his brother, Gareth. He studies and works in the mine too, which is the principal source of jobs to people of the town. Their life is hard because they have to survive with little money.

This book shows how love and time can overcome the difficulties of life. The story is really wonderful, romantic and realistic. The reader should think that the story maybe a pain but nothing about this because he´ll find a fresh, sweet, interesting romance.

I think this book could be read by all kind of readers that want to keep a good story in their hearts.

All About Megan

Posted by MJESUS BALAN FERNANDEZ under Two lives

Megan is the main female character in the book “Two Lives”, by Helen Naylor.
She was a sixteen-year-old girl, a pretty teenager who fell in love for the first time with her childhood friend , Huw. However,
perhaps their love wasn’t meant to be, because all sorts of difficulties seemed to stand in their way.

Are you the sort of person who thinks love can conquer all ? Do you think their young love could be strong enough to survive time and distance?

I encourage you to read “Two Lives” and find the answers to these questions and much more.

If you feel like reading what other students have written about this strong woman called Megan, her life in Tredonald, a little mining village, and her yearning for her long lost love Huw, click here and read, but you’d better finish the book first, as you may find spoilers. 

Megan sent a letter to a man she loved very much, although not enough to make her forget the love of her youth.

The book just shows us the beginning of her letters, but some 2nd year Basic Level studets have guessed what’s missing and written these imaginative and moving words:

 Dear Paul,
You’ll know I left Tredonald to live my second chance with Huw.

Don’t feel bad because you made me really happy and thanks to you I could feel love again.

Yes, I love you but when I saw Huw again I felt all the past emotions coming back. I tried to struggle against them but finally I had to give in. 

I hope you understand me.

When I found that box with the letters I had a hunch: Someone in the sky wanted to give us a new opportunity.

He had been loving me all these years, while I couldn’t forget him, either.

Here, in Canada, everything is different. Paul, be happy! I’m sure you’ll find someone special to share your life with.
(By María García Salceda)

Dear Paul,

I have to tell you something very important for us. It will be better for both of us to split up. You know that our relationship was always very formal, and we didn’t actually want to marry each other. I think I was only trying to satisfy my desire to be happy all these years I lived alone.
But now that my lost love, Huw, has arrived, I think we have to say goodbye. I’ve found my past, and that’s all I want now. I’m sorry, very sorry for this.
Yours forever, goodbye,

(By Adrián Rodríguez Ares)


Dear Paul,

I’m going to be honest: I finally have decided to marry Huw. You are one of the most wonderful men I’ve ever meet and I’m sure that you would be a great husband for me. In fact, we’d probably marry if all the things that have happened in the last moths hadn’t happened. But now that Huw is again in my life, I must listen to my heart. Life has given us a second chance and I can’t let him go away.

I only can say one thing: I’m sorry.

All the best,
(By Laura Alonso)

My dear Paul,

I’m writing this letter because I can’t marry you
I have realised that I still love Huw. We have met again after fifty years and my feelings towards him are the same as when I was sixteen.
You are a good man and I am sure you will find another good woman.

I wish you good luck in your life.

My best wishes,


(By Emi Nielfa)


Dear Paul,

I’m sorry but I can’t marry you because I love Huw and he loves me.
You have always been very good to me and I’m very sorry about this but you know that my heart always belonged to the father of my dear daughter, Beth.

I hope you’ll be very happy and you will be able to forgive me.

(By Bego)


 Dear Paul,

You already felt it at dinner, didn’t you?

You knew everything about my past with Huw because I had told you but you didn’t know, and I have understood today, that I still love him.

Happiness consists of allowing all the events to happen. Do you remember? You said it to me when we met and I’ve been very happy with you. I found in you a partner, an ideal friend to share the rest of my life with, but now this life offers me a second opportunity with my first and maybe my only love, with Huw.

I’m sorry, I’m hurting you but if we marry our life together would be a lie and you wouldn’t like it.

You deserve all my respect and I suppose that you prefer the truth though it is very painful. Time has come to say goodbye. I know you’ll be happy.
With love,

(By Marisol G.)

Dear Paul,
Sorry for leaving you but when I saw Huw I remembered many things and I fell in love with him again. I hope that you can forgive me.

All these years we have enjoyed ourselves a lot together and I have been in love with you but now I have become crazy about Huw.

I’ll never forget you.
Looking forward to hearing from you,


(By Andrés)

My dear Paul,
I am going to marry Huw because I love him, maybe not in the same way as I did when I was sixteen but now I know that he is the only one for me.

Although the years we have lost will never get back we still have time, we have a second chance.

You’ve made me feel good again but I don’t feel complete with you.

You’ll always be my best friend.

I’m sorry.
My best wishes.
(By Florentina A.)

All About Huw

Posted by MJESUS BALAN FERNANDEZ under Two lives

Huw is one of the main characters in “Two Lives”, by Helen Naylor.
I don’t know for sure what he looked like but I guess he probably looked like the young man in the picture on the right.

After you have read the book you can click here and see what other readers have written about Huw’s personality and background, his past and his future. However, you’d better  finish the book first because some of the comments contain spoilers.

He was born in a Welsh mining village and lived there all his childhood but when he was in his teens he had to leave Britain and travel to Toronto, Canada, in search of a better life. When he was in Toronto he wrote some letters to his beloved Megan, the girl he had to leave in Wales, so far away. In the book, we can read the beginning of one of them:

My lovely Megan
I still haven’t received a letter from you. I can’t believe it takes four months for letters to cross the Atlantic. What’s happened? Is something wrong? …

Some 2nd year Basic Level students have used their imagination to find the missing words. I’m sure Huw’s letters can’t have been very different from these :

I’ve found a very nice house near the sea. It’s very nice to live in Toronto and to know that you’re fine at the same time! The only bad thing I have to tell you is that I haven’t found a job yet. But don’t worry, I’ve met a very important businessman who has promissed me to help me with that task.
The only thing I want to know is if you are all right. I only need that to live. I promiss I’ll go to Britain as soon as I have some money to spend on the journey, but now you have to be patient. Please, Megan, wait for me!
Looking forward to your answer,
yours truly,

(By Adrián Rodríguez Ares)

My lovely Megan
I still haven’t received a letter from you. I can’t believe it takes four months for letters to cross the Atlantic. What’s happened? Is something wrong?…
I really need to see you again but I’ve started to think you have forgotten me. I hope you haven’t because I´d be very sad.
What happened with the things that you and I talked about? I don´t know what to think…I´m confused.
I´m in this big city working to be able to return to you and then you and I will be able to get married. My father has given up drinking and I´m happy for him. He has met a woman and he´s very happy.
I don’t know what else I can say except that I hope you write back.
I´ll always love you.
My best wishes,

(By Vanessa Peña)

This is very different from Tredoland but I think that you’d like it. Sometimes I go walking along the street and I imagine that you are here and I’ll find you after turning the corner or when I get into a shop. However, I soon realize that it won’t happen and that makes me feel sad. How I wish you were here! I remember every single day we spent together in Tredoland. They were the happiest days of my life. I wonder if I made the right decision.
Please, write to me,

(By Franciso González)

My lovely Megan
I still haven’t received a letter from you. I can’t believe it takes four months for letters to cross the Atlantic. What’s happened? Is something wrong?…Maybe your family?
I miss you every day. I always dream you are here with me.
This city is wonderful, you’ll love it. I sold some pictures and my father is better. He met a woman whom he likes. This can be good for him. As I’ve earned some money here and I’ve saved some, you will be able to come with me, if you haven’t changed your mind about our plans for the future. Please, answer me soon because this is diving me crazy. I’m not sure if you keep loving me or you have forgotten me.

With all my best wishes,


(By María García Saceda)

I don’t understand … why don’t you write to me? Every day I look at your face on the wall of my studio and I feel alone, I’m waiting for your letter.
I love you so much !

(By Arantxa García Barrenechea)

Sometimes I wonder if you still love me like you did before.
I don’t understand why you haven’t replied yet.
Do you have any problems with you father?
Please, I need to know if you want to marry me.
Now I’m working hard and I think in three months I’ll have the money for your ticket, but I must know if you want to leave Tredonald.
I’m anxiously awaiting news from you.

(By Aurelio Braz Viana)

My lovely Megan,

I still haven’t received a letter from you. I can’t believe it takes four months for letters to cross the Atlantic. What’s happened? Is anything wrong?

I think that you might have another person in your life so if I don’t have any news from you in the next days I’ll take it for granted that you don’t want to keep in touch.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you



(By Evelia R.C.) 

Talking about “Two Lives”

Posted by MJESUS BALAN FERNANDEZ under Two lives


“Two Lives”, by Helen Naylor, is a love story ; the story of a love that seems able to last a lifetime and survive all sorts of hardships on the way. Everything and everyone, both circumstances and people seem determined to separate Megan and Huw but sometimes not even fifty years and thousands of miles can put enough distance between two souls that are meant for each other and have been aware of this undeniable truth since early childhood.

After fifty long years, life gives these two people a second chance but you have to read the book if you want to know whether or not they are brave enough to take the risk and start their relationship where they left it so long ago.

The story starts in Tredonald, Wales, in 1945. Those were hard times, specially in a village where the only options were working in the coal mine or leaving home to become a soldier or an immigrant in a foreign country.

I think this book is well worth reading because it  is not the usual romance, but two people’s journey through time and distance, both moving and believable, which holds the reader’s attention from the beginning to the very end.

 We would like you to share your impressions about this book with all of us, that’s why we have selected the following set of questions. You should choose a question from each group and send your writing to your teacher for correction.


1. Describe Megan’s father. What was he like? What do you think he looked like? Why did he have so much influence on his daughter’s life?

2. Describe Huw’s father. What was he like? What do you think he looked like? Why did he have so much influence on his son’s life?

3. What kind of woman was Megan? Describe her physical appearance and her personality.

4. What kind of man was Huw? Describe his physical appearance and his personality.


1. Describe Huw’s family and his relationship with his father and brother, what they did for a living there in Wales in the 40s, etc. Explain why Huw decided to go to Canada and leave Megan in Britain.

2. What was Huw’s life in Canada like? Did he do well there? Was he successful? Did he have a happy life without Megan?

3. What was Megan’s life like all those years without Huw? Was it sad and empty or was it full and satisfying?

4. Talk about Huw and Megan’s relationship. Their love lasted a lifetime, but do you think it could be the same after fifty years? Is love the same at sixty than at sixteen?


1. Write a letter from Megan to Paul explaining why she has decided to marry Huw.

2. Finish writing the letter from Huw which Megan begins reading on page 26 of “Two Lives”.

   My lovely Megan

I still haven’t received a letter from you. I can’t believe it takes four months for letters to cross the   Atlantic. What’s happened? Is something wrong?…

Two Lives

Posted by Adrian Rodriguez Ares under Two lives

Two Lives' cover

Title: Two Lives

Author: Helen Naylor

Genre: Romance

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Level: Pre-Intermediate

50 years ago, Huw and Megan were a happy couple in a little Welsh town. But the power of destiny forced Huw to leave the town and go to Canada, so Megan stayed alone with her baby and parents. Huw didn’t send any letters telling Megan about him or about his new life in Canada.

50 years later, Megan discovered that his father, who was already dead, had been keeping a lot of letters from Huw. Now, Megan could contact her beloved again , but she was about to marry a friend she had met at work. Megan will have to choose her future without help, in a romantic story between past and present.

I give this book a 3/5. It was an easy book, with a very predictable plot, but it gets you from the start. I had to read and read, so that I could get to know the end of the story. I don’t recommend it to people who don’t like romantic stories, but if you don’t mind reading a bit of romance, then Two Lives is your book.

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