What a fantastic book! It is an adventure saga that is so beautifully conceived and written that I found myself frequently rereading paragraphs and whole sections to better savor the rich imagery and wisdom.
There is always something going on and the story moves in a grand arc through one fascinating and momentous setting after another. This book begins the life story of a Gypsy wise woman as told by the woman, Angelica Grastende, herself. It begins with 12 year old Angelica and her family living with their gypsy clan and traveling through the European country side in their beautifully painted horse drawn wagons. It’s an idyllic time that is soon to end but the characters and events of this early period in Angelica’s life are vividly lovingly drawn so well I never wanted it to end. When it does I said “oh no!” but each adventure that follows is equally engaging and beautifully drawn.
I don’t want to spoil the story but I will say that, due to a catastrophic event combined with the effects of WWI in Europe, Angelica, her mother and father, and her grandmother Lena who was the clan matriarch and sorceress are forced to leave their beloved countryside and all their belongings and cross the Atlantic to America. The story of their crossing could be a book in itself as could be the story of their life as members of a small traveling circus through the hinterlands of the America of the early 20th century. As I say, I LOVED THIS BOOK. I am looking forward very much to book two in this series from Laura Shepard Townsend.