Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Gypsy Boy by Mikey Walsh

Synopsis from Amazon:

Mikey was born into a Romany Gypsy family. They live in a closeted community, and little is known about their way of life. After centuries of persecution Gypsies are wary of outsiders and if you choose to leave you can never come back.

This is something Mikey knows only too well. Growing up, he rarely went to school, and seldom mixed with non-Gypsies. The caravan and camp were his world.

But although Mikey inherited a vibrant and loyal culture his family’s legacy was bittersweet with a hidden history of grief and abuse.

Eventually Mikey was forced to make an agonising decision – to stay and keep secrets, or escape and find somewhere he could truly belong.

My review:

This book was certainly a big eye opener. We all have our own thoughts on the life of Romany Gypsies, but I wasn’t expecting this.

Life of crime, fights, rules and traditions that we would describe was a life of misery and abuse and it was a life was that Mikey (as I am sure a lots of Gypsy children) endured since a very young age.

Born into a family of fighting champions, he failed his father miserably by being a mother’s boy that didn’t stand a chance in any fight. However that does not save him from daily abuse in the hands of his own father who is determined to make a fighter out of him even if it kills him – literary.

Mikey described his relationships with siblings, friends and family members and you do wonder how such a close family allows such harsh environment for their children and women. Domestic violence is a daily occurrence and nobody seems to be spared.

Mikey goes through some terrible things right from his childhood and how he managed to survive is beyond me. Somehow his spirit stayed strong and he clings to that.

This is quite an inspiring book and it was interesting to be given the insight into the life of a Gypsy family whatever the discomfort it gave me reading some of those lines. Well done to Mikey Walsh for coming out and standing up to the abuse he has endured. This is a well written account, the language flows very well and keep the reader going right from the start to the last page of the book.

My rating: 5/5

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