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The Girl In The Painted Caravan (2011)

by Eva Petulengro(Favorite Author)
3.28 of 5 Votes: 3
0330519999 (ISBN13: 9780330519991)
Pan Macmillan
review 1: It’s funny how tales of the Romany way of life has been embedded in us, yet according to the book this way of life started dying out in the 1930’s when much of the countryside was gripped in a depression and many people had no choice but to take to the roads. Unfortunately not all folks were honest and law abiding and lots of local landowners then started banning people from staying on their land and would not employ casual labour. This sounded the death knell to the Romany way of life. Eva Petulengro came from a well known family and her family travelled the roads between Norfolk and Lincoln. This book describes a childhood of travelling, animals especially horses were treated with respect and outsiders were not welcomed into the family, her mother and eventually, she... more made a living out of fortune telling. Her Mother made the mistake of marrying outside the Romany community and the relationship between mother and father was difficult and the children felt this. They eventually stopped travelling after the war, I think things became too difficult by then and settled down in a house and although life was easier they missed the closeness and companionship. This book tells of a way of life which has been lost, the language, the characters many of whom lived off the land, the beautiful horse pulled wagons. Eva went on to be a celebrity with her horoscope and fortune telling and seems to have had a very happy childhood. This is a very moving and evocative book of a time and life which no longer exists.
review 2: This is an engaging memoir about a way of life I only know about through the usual stereotypes. Eva and her family are an engaging bunch, and although life is not always easy for them, Eva looks back at her childhood in the idealised way that many of us look back at our own childhoods. There was a lot of love and fun however, although her father was a peculiar man given to sudden inexplicable cruelties. What comes across strongly however is how sad it was for the Romany people to watch the slow decline of their way of life. The idea of listening to the rain on the roof of an old painted Romany caravan is a romantic one – and certainly appeals to me. Although she didn’t go to school Eva made sure she educated herself, and was a determined young lady. Eva Petulengro finally settled in Brighton and met the love of her life, but tried to give her own children the same thrill as she had had – of waking up in a new place from time to time. less
Reviews (see all)
Only read a few pages as it was due back at library - very easy reading but not exactly exciting.
Easy Read. Eva tells the story of three generations of her family.
Badly written. I didn't even finish reading it.
A sweet, touching memoir.
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