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The Snow Gypsy Paperback – Unabridged, 1 February 2019
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From the bestselling author of The Woman on the Orient Express comes a haunting novel of two women―one determined to uncover the past and the other determined to escape it.
At the close of World War II, London is in ruins and Rose Daniel isn’t at peace. Eight years ago, her brother disappeared while fighting alongside Gypsy partisans in Spain. From his letters, Rose has just two clues to his whereabouts―his descriptions of the spectacular south slopes of the Sierra Nevada and his love for a woman who was carrying his child.
In Spain, it has been eight years since Lola Aragon’s family was massacred. Eight years since she rescued a newborn girl from the arms of her dying mother and ran for her life. She has always believed that nothing could make her return…until a plea for help comes from a desperate stranger.
Now, Rose, Lola, and the child set out on a journey from the wild marshes of the Camargue to the dazzling peaks of Spain’s ancient mountain communities. As they come face-to-face with war’s darkest truths, their lives will be changed forever by memories, secrets, and friendships.
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“Ashford drew me in from the start with her exquisite prose, then took me on a heartfelt and exotic journey through southern Spain and Provence. Moving insights into the Spanish Civil War are woven throughout the novel, and the story is told with beauty and compassion. Highly recommended.” ―Ella Carey, bestselling author of The Things We Don’t Say
“The Snow Gypsy is a moving story of two women who have both been scarred by loss yet refuse to be defined by their pasts. Ashford immerses readers in the sights, smells, and tastes of Spain, from the sensuousness of flamenco dancing to the traditions of Gypsy culture and the lingering, tragic aftereffects of the Spanish Civil War. It’s easy to root for strong, inspiring heroines like Rose and Lola.” ―Elizabeth Blackwell, bestselling author of In the Shadow of Lakecrest
“An intriguing and enlightening journey viewed through the eyes of two independent and passionate women haunted by the pasts they must reconcile.” ―Gemma Liviero, author of Broken Angels and Pastel Orphans
About the Author
Raised in Wolverhampton in the United Kingdom, Lindsay Jayne Ashford became the first woman to graduate from Queens’ College, Cambridge, in its 550-year history. She earned a degree in criminology and was a reporter for the BBC before becoming a freelance journalist, writing for a number of national magazines and newspapers.
Lindsay began her career as a novelist with a contemporary crime series featuring forensic psychologist Megan Rhys. She moved into historical mystery with The Mysterious Death of Miss Jane Austen, and her three most recent books, Whisper of the Moon Moth, The Color of Secrets, and The Woman on the Orient Express, blend fiction with real events of the early twentieth century.
She has four children and divides her time between a house overlooking the sea on the west coast of Wales and a small farmhouse in Spain’s Sierra de Los Filabres. When she’s not writing, she enjoys volunteering for Save the Children, kayaking, and walking her dogs, Milly and Pablo.
- Publisher : Lake Union Publishing; Unabridged edition (1 February 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 331 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1542040043
- ISBN-13 : 978-1542040044
- Dimensions : 13.97 x 2.54 x 20.96 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 1,156,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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Other reviews have mentioned the coincidents that make the story unbelievable however, I didn't mind these, so often life is like that. Its these interesting, unlikely events that make a story novel worthy, rather than the mundane.
What gave me some frustration was the amount of romance. Although centred around two independent women, males seem to still dominate and drive their stories... perhaps this is a true reflection of our culture. It would have been refreshing to have more platonic relationships. It was interesting to read from the author's note that Rose's character and some of her life events were based on a real person. I plan to follow up the author's further reading recommendations as the character sounds fascinating.
Top reviews from other countries
I am interested in herbal remedies for both people and animals and that, definitely, for me, turned out to be the only interesting part of the book but not covered in any depth.
I am also very familiar with the history of the Spanish civil war and the repressions and fear of the Franco era but, again, if that is what you are interested in then there are much better sources, like Giles Tremlett's 'Ghosts of Spain'.
There were so many errors of fact and clearly ludicrous story lines that I lost patience, though I did stagger through to the end. One of the characters claimed to have seen beaver dams in Sussex in the 1930s. Beavers became extinct in England in the 12th century and have only just been reintroduced. Then there was the misinformation on Julian of Norwich. We are told that she was a nun who was walled up in the cathedral. There is no historical evidence that she was a nun ; she was an anchoress and her cell was attached to St Julian's church, which sits between King St and Rouen Rd in Norwich. There is a picture of her dressed as a Benedictine nun in Norwich cathedral but it is an incorrect attribution.
Then there are the ludicrous story lines and coincidences. We are expected to believe, for example, that a Spanish gypsy child, unable to read when first encountered, barely a month later is in school and reading, having also been passed off as the daughter of an English woman. I think not. So it drags on. There are small inserts of French, Roma and Spanish, presumably to add a little verisimilitude. The French passed muster, the Roma I don't know but there were several mistakes in the Spanish.
Oh and, as one of the other reviewers has mentioned ; why the americanisms in an English book by an English author?
I definitely won't be bothering to read anything else by this author.
There is only one complaint about this book and this is as others have pointed out the American spellings and terminology. The author is English, the main character is English, the book is set part in England so why do we have to have American spelling? Had I been purchasing this book, it would definitely put me off of purchasing and indeed has lead me to only give the book 4 instead of 5 stars.
The is a 75 to 25 split of the two characters Rose and Lola respectively. Lola's journey is one of survival at 14 year old she has had to survive the worst of humanity, showing more courage and determination than anyone her age should need. Rose's starts out as a search for closure of what happened to her brother. On a chance/fateful meeting both of them find something in common and help each other achieve their dreams.
TmDespite the brutality of the first chapter, the book is a little slow at the beginning. This is necessary to establish the characters and their development. The location and their history is very well done. Great knowledge of the culture.
The second half of the book is when things really start moving. Every answer leads to more questions. The ending is bitter sweet at best. The phrase be carefully what you ask for as you might not like the answers. However the journey to find them might be amazing and even more important.