Sunday, 10 June 2007
Scottish Interest Books - Tales from the Tent
In Tales from the Tent, Jess Smith - Scottish traveller, hawker, gypsy, 'gan-about' and storyteller - continues the unforgettable story of her life on the road. Unable to adjust to settled life working in a factory after leaving school, she finds herself drawn once again to the wild countryside of Scotland.
Having grown up on the road in an old blue bus with her parents and seven sisters, Jessie now joins her family in caravans, stopping to rest in campsites and lay-bys as they follow work around the country - berry-picking, hay-stacking, ragging, fortune-telling and hawking. Making the most of their freedom, Jessie and her family continue the traditional way of life that is disappearing before their eyes, wandering the roads and byways, sharing tales and living on the edge of 'acceptable' society.
Intertwined with the story of Jessie's loveable but infuriating family, incorrigible friends, first loves and first losses are her 'tales from the tent', a collection of folklore from the traveller's world. As Jessie travels through Scotland's silver-birch woods, along the salty shores of the west coast and over the border into England, she tells intriguing tales of romance, mythical beasts, dreams, ghostly apparitions and strange encounters.