by Jess Smith
Category: Fiction / S - U
Publisher: Mercat Press
Publication date: 23 August 2006
Number of pages: 256
"Jessie's Journey" 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 struggle to survive as free nomads. 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, beach-combing, 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.
What the papers say:
'The story of ... the family events, the moments to cherish, the strange and peculiar aspects to life -- and the sheer joy of living.' Dundee Courier 'A vividly told account of the author's unconventional childhood roaming the country, a never-ending struggle to survive as free nomads. The family's riches came from freedom, in a world full of laughter, love and adventure.' Scots Magazine 'Jessie's Journey recounts a magical childhood and offers a fascinating insight into the world of Scotland's traditional travellers.' Sunday Post
Jess Smith was raised in a large family of Scottish travellers. She has been married to Dave for 35 years and has three children and six grandchildren. As a traditional storyteller, she is in great demand for live performances throughout Scotland. She lives near Crieff, Perthshire.
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