The Year the Gypsies Came

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Linzi Alex Glass
Mar 2006
�Alles moet verbygaan�

This is the ideal book for reading in one sitting on a long, hot summer�s evening when the ways of the world feel slowed and yet, somehow, more sharply focused.

Linzi Alex Glass shows a real affinity for writing ethereal, poetic prose. She conjures indelible images that carry an almost overwhelming weight of nostalgia for childhood�s transience. Taking as its central preserve the notion that failing relationships appear at their strongest to those who know little about their �insiders�, �The Year the Gypsies Came� forces consideration into the costs invoked when appearances gain greater standing than substance and inner-workings.

The pace at the start of the novel is lethargic, perfectly capturing the ways in which the Iris family feel to have stagnated amidst the heat of the summer. There is a sense in which great undercurrents of emotion already ebb and flow beneath the thoughts and actions of each of the characters even at early stage, however. It is the news that guests will be staying with the family, �gypsies of a kind�, that pours placatory oils over unsettled waters�

Any thoughts that Jock, Peg, Otis and Streak might be conciliatory influences quickly become dispelled as these large-as-life guests make their appearance. The travellers have a raw, untamed and � at points � almost savage approach towards life and its living. They bring with them their own set of values and their own prejudices which contrast greatly to the Iris family�s civilised, genteel outlook.

The urge of mother, Lily Iris, to find adventure and pace in her life and the eagerness of her husband to appease such desires leads daughters Sarah and Emily into danger and ultimately to the tragedy that besets the famil,y tearing its very fabric apart.

Here is writing that is seductively sensual, here is writing that is at once powerful, yet tender, here is a story that arises from a loose thread that once pulled leads one deeper and deeper to uncover layer upon layer of memory and self perception� a remarkable work.

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This page contains a single entry by Jacob published on March 21, 2006 1:50 PM.

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