Synopses & Reviews
The novel begins in Czechoslovakia in the 1930s when Zoli, a young Roma girl, is six years old. The fascists had driven most of her people out onto the frozen lake and forced them to stay there until the spring, when the ice cracked and everyone drowned - Zoli's parents, brothers and sisters. Now she and her grandfather head off in search of a 'company'. Zoli teaches herself to read and write and becomes a singer, a privileged position in a gypsy company as they are viewed as the guardians of gypsy tradition. But Zoli is different because she secretly writes down some of her songs. Following the coming of the Nazis, the suppression of the gypsies, the horrors of the Second World War and the subsequent onset of Communism, Zoli begins a journey that will eventually lead her to Italy and a new life.