Book Review: Lessons From The Gypsy Camp by Elizabeth Appell


Young Lolly Candolin journeys into a forbidden gypsy camp, befriends many lively outcasts, and unwittingly becomes entangled in murder. Knowing who the true killer is, Lolly struggles with the decision to either speak up, thus setting an innocent man free and devastating her abusive lawyer father hell-bent on destroying the gypsies, or remain quiet and allow a terrible injustice.


I loved this book. It is a beautifully written book, set in the 40s in California, about learning lessons. I loved the characters but Lolly, our 10 year old protagonist and her grandpa stood out for me. I loved the conflict that the book presented between being taught to do right and actually doing it against all odds.

Lolly is a bright sensitive girl who sees and experiences things we think we shield our 10 year olds from. The book addressed the baggage we all carry as the past and the fact that whether we are insightful or not we may be punishing someone for feelings we have that are caused by others in our experience.

Prejudice, fear, ignorance and snobbery are all themes which weave this magical tale together. I found reading about Bo and Cougar difficult as I love cats, big and small and have my own cats, but this bittersweet tale is worth the journey.


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