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BOOK REVIEW: Jakob's Colours

Lindsay Hawdon's novel recounts the tragedy of the gypsy holocaust. Its central character, Jakob, recalls his memories and his struggle to find hope in a world drained of colour.

An exquisitely written, powerful book, so sad it will make you weep, yet one that also reflects the human capacity to find colour in the darkest of times.
It gives a glimpse of a lesser known tragedy of World War II – the gypsy holocaust. At its centre is Jakob, an eight-year-old boy running for survival, clinging to his box of precious mementoes, and remembering his father telling him not to be afraid but to “see the colours” – the blue lapis sky, the rusted ochre of a mossy bough, the steely white sap of a chestnut tree.
Woven in, is the love story of his gypsy father, Yavy, and English mother, Lor, who were both cruelly institutionalised as young teens. Travelling back and forth through time and place, Jakob’s heritage is slowly revealed, as we will him to survive so he may have a future.
Poignant and haunting, this story will pierce your soul.

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