Sunday, 10 June 2007

Scottish Interest Books - Jessie's Journey

Jessie's Journey: Autobiography of a Traveller Girl
By Jess Smith

Jessie's Journey, the first book in Jess Smith's autobiographical trilogy, is an unforgettable account of a way of life that has all but vanished. It is the story of Jessie, her seven sisters and their unconventional childhood roaming the country in an old blue Bedford bus. In this moving, honest and heart-warming memoir, Jess describes her life among an extraordinary people and their never-ending sruggle to survive as free travellers.

Jessie's parents lacked material wealth, but they clung to 'the richness that comes from freedom, a traveller's freedom'. Living as they did on the edge of "respectable" society, prejudice was never far away, but their world was brimming with laughter, love and adventure. Earning their living hay-stacking, beachcombing, ragging, midden-raking, berry-picking, fortune-telling and hawking, Jessie and her family travelled the length and breadth of Scotland and beyond.

Reflecting on the friendships, feuds, trials and tribulations of her boisterous family, Jess recalls a magical childhood, surrounded by the sea spray, birch woods and wild places of a Scotland few of us will ever know.

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