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Stone Cradle

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  55 ratings  ·  11 reviews
As the Romany people struggle to survive the changes of the 20th century, the author charts one family's path through persecution and tragedy, asking, can the Romany spirit survive in a century that no longer has space for them?
Published April 1st 2007 by Pocket Books
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The Stone Cradle was a delightful read which managed to give me a lovely insight into the lives of two women telling their story throughout a few generations. I loved the style of writing and how the Romaney language was used to compliment the Romaney people's way.
Louise Doughty is an English novelist, playwright and journalist who has a Romany background. She was born in Melton Mowbray, 4 September 1963. She attended the University of Leeds and is an alumna of the University of East Anglia’s Creative Writing Course.
This story is narrated by two women, one of whom is Romany, and charts the fortunes of one English family over three generations as the 20th century rolls by. It is beautifully written, with sadness and humour in equal measure.

The book starts
What could have been a great novel spanning three generations from 1875 to 1949 turned out to be only so so. The theme seemed to be the relationship between a Romany life and that of a poor fenland family. When Rose marries the gipsy Elijah, her mother in law tells her she will always be sorry she did. So this was never going to be an uplifting tale. However, the differences between the two women make for an interesting contrast of the two ways of life.

There are also some wonderful examples of h
One of my favourite reads this year. Narrated by two women, one Romany, charting the fortunes of one English family over three generations as the 20th century rolls by. Beautifully written, with sadness and humour in equal measure.
Sep 01, 2011 Ape rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: england
This was an absolutely fantastic read. The writing and the story telling. I just loved this book. It could have gone on and on forever for me.

Starting off in the late 1800s, it alternates in the storytelling from two different women's perspectives. The first is Clementina, the only child of a travelling family, who falls pregnant as a teenager, unmarried and never revealing the identity of the father. She has her son, Lijah, and they continue the travelling life. When Lijah's about twenty or so,
Loved this novel. Skilfully narrated with brilliant use of original metaphor. These descriptions were so insightful inferring a range of emotion with few words. Reading this was like living alongside the characters with the turning of each page.
Not at all what I expected, having discovered Louise Doughty via Apple Tree Yard; much quieter in tone but deeply thought-provoking. Informative on the Traveller's way of life and the meeting of cultures, insightful on family interactions and differing perspectives thereof.
And a thoroughly enjoyable story.
I love Louise Doughty's writing style and am in awe of her ability to describe small, focused moments in the lives of her characters.

This tale of gypsy life in the Fens at the turn of the century was fascinating and raised questions for me of why people cling to traditional ways that seem destined to create hardship for themselves and their families.

I very nearly gave up on this, I didn't enjoy the first half of the book at all - can't give a decent reason why though. However glad I stuck with it as I enjoyed it more as time went on, and did finally get into the characters. Wouldn't rush out and buy another of hers though.
I loved this book. I grew up in and around the Peterborough area, which made it all the more real. I loved the relationship between the generations of women, and how differently they viewed the same events.
Anna Szabo
An interesting portrait of the life of Travellers at the turn of the 20th century. Beautifully written.
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Louise Doughty is a novelist, playwright and critic. She is the author of five novels; CRAZY PAVING, DANCE WITH ME, HONEY-DEW, FIRES IN THE DARK and STONE CRADLE, and one work of non-fiction A NOVEL IN A YEAR. She has also written five plays for radio. She has worked widely as a critic and broadcaster in the UK, where she lives, and was a judge for the 2008 Man Booker Prize for fiction.

More about Louise Doughty...
Apple Tree Yard Whatever You Love Fires in the Dark A Novel in a Year An English Murder

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