Monday, 1 June 2015

Book Review: Rosie McKinley: Gypsy Girl

Gypsy Girl: A life on the road. A journey to freedom.

Author: Rosie McKinley
Title: Gypsy Girl
Genre: Parenting and Relationships, Parenting, Parenting Girls, Relationships, Love and Loss, Self-Help, Death and Loss, Grief and Bereavement,

I was given this book.

Book Dedication: For my children, Sarah-Jane, Tyrone, Finn, Grace and Hope.

This book has 288 pages and 22 chapters.

I would tell people that you should step outside your comfort zone with books because it is good to add more authors and genres to your reading portfolio. Even if you do not read books like this.

I normally read books of this genre but l also stepped outside my comfort zone with authors and genres l am so glad l did because l have read so many great books and come across some great authors.

I highly recommend this book.

Synopsis: A life lived on the road and a heart will always belong there imagine being born in to a world where communities are constantly on the move, but freedom is not a birthright. Rosie grew up travelling all over England and Ireland in her family's caravan. She had an idyllic childhood roaming fields and meadows with her younger brothers and sisters – free from trappings of modern life, but restricted by expectations of her culture. When Rosie was 14, the family's happiness was shattered when her grandfather – who was loved and respected by the whole community – was killed in a tragic accident. Suddenly everything in Rosie's life unravelled and she was forced to abandon the traditional ways of life she loved. This is her story of finding a place to belong. Rosie McKinley was born to an Irish traveller family and ran away at 17 to marry a fellow traveller. She has five children and lives in Ireland. Rosie was born on a pavement in Leeds on a drizzly  Tuesday morning in February 1970, her mother was waiting for her father to take her to the hospital. Mammy was already convinced l was going to be a lucky child. I had been born with what travellers call our lady's veil over my face. This is when the amniotic sac, or caul, covering her face like a mask. In our culture it is a sign of good luck and means that the child is destined for great things or might have psychic powers. Sailors thinks keeping a caul can stop them from drowning. Mammy and daddy were delighted their baby had been born with such a lucky talisman. Mammy gently lifted the veil off my face and kept it safe in an old shoe box in the corner of our trailer. A couple of months later when a woman on our site give birth to a terribly poorly baby, mammy gave her my veil and the lady laid it on to her child's face, apparently it saved the baby's life. Within a couple of weeks of my birth we were on the move again and we set off in our caravan to a site west of Manchester. There was never any particular reason why we moved on, it was just what we did. I was about eight months old, a chubby wee thing with tufts of coal-black hair sticking up like desert grass, when everything changed. I was just at that baby stage of sitting upright on my own for short periods before plunging forwards, headfirst in to the ground. Mammy had put me in a playpen outside the front of our caravan and I was sat there happily bashing a multi-coloured plastic telephone while she got on with cleaning up the trailer. Daddy was out working with all the other men from the site, suddenly there were all sorts of commotion around the place. Someone shouted for my mammy, Patsy is really sick. She has been hit by a bus down the road. Patsy was my mammy's younger sister. Suddenly everyone had gone, running off down the road and leaving the site empty apart from me, still in my play-pen, grinding the toy phone in to the mud. It must have been then. With no one else around to occupy it, that a rottweiler belonging to a family in another of the trailers became interested in me. There were always ragged-looking dogs skulking around our site, sniffing out food or barking at strangers. The fiercest ones were sometimes tied up to their owner's trailers with lengths of string, but most of them just roamed free, wherever they fancied. Maybe l cried out or tried to grab the dog. I really do not know as l was far too young to remember. But the story l was bought up with was that suddenly, with all the adults gone, the rottweiler leapt in to my playpen and clamped it jaws around my tiny throat. It teeth bit in to my face and neck and blood spurted all over my pink gingham babygro. The rottweiler's jaw was so strong that it could easily crushed my airway and when one of our neighbours returned to the trailers she found me barely able to breather and soaked in blood. Poor mammy was called back immediately in a state of total shock. ' my baby, my baby' she was screaming as she picked up my virtually lifeless body. Her sister was so badly broken up in the smash that she was feared dead and now here was her new baby fighting for her life too. Someone ran off to a payphone and called another ambulance and within minutes l was undergoing emergency surgery in the same hospital as auntie Patsy.

Review: I found this book really easy to get in to and hard to put down once l started reading it, l was hooked after reading the first few pages. It was sad to read that Rosie's auntie Patsy was getting rescued after being hit by a bus and Rosie was being attacked by a dog, luckily they both survived. I felt sorry to read that Rosie's mother was helping rescue her sister and she watched her sister leave in a ambulance not knowing if she was going to live then she was called back to see her baby daughter bleeding and barely breathing and then she had to watch her tiny daughter leave in a ambulance too and her tiny daughter need surgeries. Rosie got married and had five children but one she got told he would not survive but he did and she was glad and I was sad to read that Rosie's grandfather was killed after being hit by a drunk driver glad they arrested the driver at the scene but nothing would bring the beloved father, husband and grandfather back. Rosie's husband ran away leaving her to raise their five children alone which she does a great job and she is a great mother to her five children after reading this book l think gypsies are not as bad as everybody makes out, there are some good gypsies around. Rosie's husband dies. I was glad Rosie survived the dog attack and she told her story. This is a great book wish l could rate it more then five stars because it is worth it. This book is a must read and a must have on your bookshelf l am glad this book is on my bookshelf. Some bits in this book was upsetting but it kind of had a bit of happy ending l was glad to read that Rosie did not give up on her baby after she was told that the baby would not survive.

Star Rating: Five Out Of Five Stars.

About The Book: l loved the picture on this book it is very fitting for what the book is about.

I would love to read more from this author.

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