With her two previous novels translated into 20 languages, Margriet
de Moor is already an established and popular author. In this
novel, set on a farm in Holland, she explores European and Russian
history through the lives of her characters. Although living
together, Gerard and his 21-year-old daughter Lucy lead separate
lives - she runs the stables while he farms the land, though it is
a struggle as age and its burdens increase. When the talented gypsy
Joseph Plato arrives, change on the farm is inevitable and welcome.
The unexpected marriage of Lucy and Joseph thrives despite, or
perhaps because of, their unconventional lifestyle. In winter they
are together, sharing everything, but each spring Joseph returns to
his gypsy heritage and roams in search of travelling friends and
relatives. Returning to Lucy in the autumn, Joseph relates his
experiences and the oral history of his forebears. Persecuted
frequently by bureaucrats and sometimes feuding among themselves,
this nomadic and diverse population survived joyfully until the
horrors of the Second World War. The author writes movingly of
multi-talented gypsies who are feared and admired by suspicious,
stable communities, and the combination of lyrical prose and
fascinating historical storytelling makes this a unique and
engrossing novel. (Kirkus UK)
This title recounts the love between a gypsy, Joseph Plato, and a farmer, Lucie. He searches for his family every spring, but returns each autumn to tell Lucie of his travels. In so doing, the story of his ancestors - the displaced and marginalized people of Europe - is slowly unravelled.
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