Jakob’s Colours by Lindsay Hawdon

Jakob's Colours by Lindsay HawdonRating: 4 / 5 stars
Format: Paperback
Published: 9th April 2015
Book Depository | Goodreads

Austria, 1944: Jakob, a gypsy boy—half Roma, half Yenish—runs, as he has been told to do. With shoes of sack cloth, still bloodstained with another’s blood, a stone clutched in one hand, a small wooden box in the other. He runs blindly, full of fear, empty of hope. For hope lies behind him in a green field with a tree that stands shaped like a Y.

He knows how to read the land, the sky. When to seek shelter, when not. He has grown up directing himself with the wind and the shadows. They are familiar to him. It is the loneliness that is not. He has never, until this time, been so alone.

“Don’t be afraid, Jakob,” his father has told him, his voice weak and wavering. “See the colors, my boy,” he has whispered. So he does. Rusted ochre from a mossy bough. Steely white from the sap of the youngest tree. On and on, Jakob runs.

The story of the Romany holocaust during World War 2 is not often talked about, but this book does a fantastic job at portraying the horror the Romany lived in during that time. The tale is spread across 3 decades from the rolling green hills of England to a mental institute in Austria. It tells the story of on Romany family trying to survive. This book is beautifully written and though difficult to read it is a story that needs to be told.

I should also say that this book has one pretty cover. I know you shouldn’t judge how good a book is by its cover and I also have a proof copy so the cover of the hardback version could be different. But this book is seriously pretty.

Buy Jakob’s Colours on Book Depository

Thanks for reading.
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*I received a copy of this book from Hodder & Stoughton in exchange for an honest review.


11 Responses to “Jakob’s Colours by Lindsay Hawdon”

  1. reesertshadow

    I read a book called Milkweed that was about a gypsy boy during WWII…it was understandably depressing…but more bewildering, too, than most Holocaust books I’ve read…which I attribute to it’s abrupt ending.

  2. Kweku Ananse Mansoh

    You make so good a reviewer. How I wish we had such book 📚 exchanges opportunities in Ghana. If you know any organization in Britain that will love to donate free books for the sake of young children who would love to read but just can’t find nor afford even if the books are found, kindly tell them for.



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