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Het jaar dat de zigeuners kwamen

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De twaalfjarige Emily is de jongste dochter van een welgestelde blanke familie in Zuid-Afrika in de jaren ’60. Ze kijkt uit naar de momenten waarop haar ouders logés uitnodigen om te verblijven in hun huis aan de rand van Johannesburg. Dan zullen haar ouders, zo lang de gasten er zijn, hun ruzies opzij zetten en zich als echte ouders gedragen. Maar in de tijden dat er geen logés zijn, zijn de donkere nachtwaker Buza en huishoudster Lettie de enigen die het leven van Emily en haar zus Sarah draaglijk maken. Tijdens de lente komt een rondtrekkende familie – een Australische wildfotograaf met zijn vrouw en twee zonen – bij hen logeren. Maar de komst van deze ‘zigeuners’ zet een reeks gebeurtenissen in gang die Emily’s hoop op een gelukkig gezinsleven de grond in boort en alles voorgoed zal veranderen.

282 pages, Hardcover

First published March 21, 2006

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About the author

Linzi Glass

5 books18 followers
Linzi moved to the US as a young adult- and has lived in Santa Monica with her teenage daughter, Jordan, for many years.
She has been in the trenches of animal rescue for seven years and has personally rescued hundreds of dogs. She is the Executive Director and Co-founder of The Forgotten Dog Foundation, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing dogs in need (her own dogs are rescues).

She studied at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute before joining the Writer's Program, and has worked as a freelance reader and as Literary Coordinator at Creative Artists Agency. She is now a full-time writer, and has co-written three adult screenplays, and two plays. Ms. Glass works as a writing consultant and teaches through the Writer's Program at UCLA Extension. She also runs two private writing groups that meet on a weekly basis.

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5 stars
136 (21%)
4 stars
237 (37%)
3 stars
174 (27%)
2 stars
51 (8%)
1 star
26 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 68 reviews
Profile Image for Belinda.
1,331 reviews180 followers
June 20, 2020
3,75 sterren - Nederlandse hardcover 🦋🦋🦋
Tja wat vind ik van dit boek. Ik ben een beetje verdeeld. Ten eerste was het totaal een verrassing dat het een young adult betrof. Het thema sprak aan, maar er stonden me door ervaring in mijn eigen leven ook en aantal dingen in het boek tegen. De hoofdpersoon probeert een eigen middelpunt te vinden tussen best wel ingrijpende dingen om haar heen. Haar vriendschap met een zwarte bediende is speciaal te noemen. Ook de vervlochten Afrikaanse Zoeloe wijsheden. Mooi, heel mooi. 🌹🌹🌹
5 reviews
November 11, 2011
This was probably the saddest book, I've ever read. I cried myself to sleep. It's cowardice to be scared of such an overwhelmingly powerful story. To turn away from the bad stuff, because it ruins the illusion of a 'perfect' life. This book made me think about my values, and about my loved ones, and all the hardships I'll probably never have to face.
Profile Image for Indah.
332 reviews53 followers
May 31, 2015
Liked it, great translation and storytelling, beginning was really slow and boring but it got better at the end.
However much I like Linzi Glass' way of showing the reader South Africa, this wasn't my favourite of hers. The epilogue was beautiful; what xame before felt really rushed and out of the blue.
3,5 out of 5 stars < / b >
9 reviews
February 29, 2012
I felt this book was too formal and stiff. Although it was packed filled with metaphors that should be very deep, in didn't feel that way to me. It simply felt "over done" which is disappointed. The themes in the book are very serious ones, but I couldn't appreciate that as so many things in the book were distracted and unnecessary. The overly explained images were, I imagine, to engage the reader into the head of the young child this book is about. However, sadly, it did the opposite. It took me away from the book and I never got engrossed.
Profile Image for Belinda Vlasbaard.
3,269 reviews54 followers
May 28, 2022
3,75 sterren - Nederlandse paperback
Tja wat vind ik van dit boek? Ik ben een beetje verdeeld. Misschien ook dat ik er niet van bewust was dat het een young adult betrof.
Het thema sprak mij aan maar door ervaringen in mij eigen leven stonden me een aantal dingen ook niet aan. Er kwamen teveel dingen boven en we hadden zeker wel wat raakvlakken met elkaar.
De hoofdpersoon probeert een middelpunt te vinden tussen best wel ingrijpende dingen om haar heen. Ze worsteld er wel wat mee.
Haar vriendschap met een zwarte bediende is speciaal te noemen.
Ook de vervlochten Zoeloe wijsheden in het verhaal vond ik een mooie vondst.
Het is een fraai geschreven boek en de personages hebben veel diepgang. De liefde, en het gebrek eraan, spat van de pagina's.
De apartheid in Zuid Afrika wordt ook mooi verweven in het verhaal.
Hoofdpersonen Emilio, haar zus Sarah en de nachtwaker Buza maken in het boek voor mij veel goed met hun scherpe inzicht.
6 reviews
August 3, 2016
When I was 10 years of age (as a curious young child), I picked up this book as the title and cover sounded interesting.
As somebody who hates to leave something unfinished, I forced myself to read this book to the end. As you can imagine, I was absolutely horrified and kicked the book away as I got up to the part where a rape scene occurred.
While I enjoyed reading the parts of reality (yes I was a sadistic 10 year old) where the girl felt as if her family was stuck together with false glue or something along the lines of that, parts where Otis came in just made me shiver.
I guess it was how the author described the rape scene or the way that Otis behaved that this book should definitely not be put on a children's book shelf for eight year olds and twelve year olds to discover.
Overall, it was a book that I rather liked as a whole but some things were better left out. I know it adds a touch of reality to the fiction but had she not made Otis so...I don't know, somewhat as unlikable, it would have been a better book.
She could have delved into depth with Otis and changed things to his perspective of view, instead of portraying him as a mentally ill monster.
After years, I'm still surprised the impact the rape scene (perhaps it was how it was described that irked me) had on me and now that I pick up the same book again and flick up to that part, I don't find that part as descriptive and disgusting as I used to.
But I definitely would not recommend this children.
Profile Image for Dorien.
252 reviews4 followers
June 4, 2018
Zeer fraai geschreven boek, mooi beeldend en de belangrijkste personages hebben veel diepgang. De liefde, en het gebrek eraan, spat ervan af. Wat ik ook erg waardeerde was de summiere, maar wel heel erg mooi beschreven natuur en omgeving. Ik hou van boeken die nog wat aan mijn verbeelding over laten, maar wel genoeg basis geven om mijn beeld van het beschrevene op te bouwen. Blij dat ik het gelezen heb, en zeker een aanrader. Vijf sterren, en da's best bijzonder.
Profile Image for Kirsty .
3,223 reviews329 followers
January 22, 2016
It's been a while since I read any of Linzi's work and I don;t know why I have left it so long because her books are fab.

This book is set in the background of a modern historical context of Apartheid in Africa. What I like about it is that it isn't about Apartheid as such but a story about a family living in the times and how it impacts upon on them. I love stories like this as I think they are more realistic in showing the impact of such events on ordinary people living in extraordinary times.

I loved the main charcater of Emily and the innocent way in which she sees her world. I loved the relationships she had both with her sister and the family's Nightwatchman Buza.

The main story is involving the Gypsy family who stay with the Iris's is quite dark and very sad by the end and it definately hits you emotionally. I've seen a lot of really negative reviews on goodreads having a go at the subject matter saying it was too nasty of young adults to read. I would argue this is the ideal way to teach young people about such horrible things.

All in all a hard hitting and fab little book which was a pleasure to read.
Profile Image for Monique.
149 reviews6 followers
August 25, 2009
Hm, I must admit I'm surprised at some of the extremely negative reviews on this book. Yes, it was dark, yes, there were tons and tongs of angst in it, and yes, some of it may have been over the top - but all in all, I actually thought this was quite a good book. What I especially liked, is the way Emily (the main character) looks at things. She realises her family isn't quite normal, but at the same time she takes a lot of things for granted that make me go 'awk!'. I like that, since it's realistic. Depressing, but realistic. Also, it shows the narrator has some insight in how this would affect a child, and doesn't get dragged into the misery herself, which I think speaks to her credit.

I myself didn't really like this book, because it was a bit too gloomy to like, and towards the end I had a sense that it all spun a bit out of control, but still I think it's a wortwhile book to read. I'm glad I've read it, anyway, and I would recommend it. For despite its faults, it is an interesting exploration of the way families work, and the writing is really appealing.
Author 20 books27 followers
January 1, 2014
This book is very disappointing. I read some bad reviews about it, but I thought they were written by quite impressionable people because, honestly, I have no problem in reading books about hard stuff, abuse, family with problems, all set in a particularly hard historical time... if they are well written and engaging, and this is not the case. I read about half of the book and then I gave up because the characters have no dept, I could not care less about them. They are all described without any originality, and so are the situation: "she goes there, he says this, there are some trees" kind of stuff. The gypsy are a fascinating and interesting topic, but this is not well done. This book is a mess and it tries to teach people good lessons, thing that I usually love, but this is not done correctly. There is too much of everything: lessons, african stories, violence, family problems but I felt like all this was happening to a name on a piece of paper, not to a character I can feel real. I surely do not suggest it.
Profile Image for Maria.
460 reviews34 followers
April 21, 2013
Mooi geschreven verhaal, verteld vanuit de 12-jarige Emily. Het speelt zich af in de jaren zestig in Johannesburg, een tijd waarin de apartheid nog volop 'heerste'.
In het gezin zijn ook een zwarte huishoudster en een zwarte nachtwaker (Buza). Bij deze 2 mensen vindt Emily de geborgenheid, liefde en troost die ze van haar ouders niet krijgt.
Zoals hieronder beschreven, voel je de dreiging, je voelt dat er iets gaat gebeuren en je voelt ook wel ongeveer welke kant het opgaat. Je zou wel in willen grijpen, de ouders (vooral de moeder!) aan hun jasje trekken: Let op, doe iets!
Ondanks dramatische gebeurtenissen, is het boek niet alleen treurig maar biedt het ook lichtpuntjes. Vooral door Emily die af en toe het gevoel heeft in stukjes uiteen te vallen maar toch altijd weer de honinglijm vindt voor een reparatie. En dat lukt vooral door de wijze, mooie Zoeloeverhalen van Buza.
Profile Image for Aili.
132 reviews19 followers
August 7, 2009
As if reading a book about Apartheid Africa wasn't already dark and depressing enough, Linzi Glass felt compelled to add a totally dysfunctional family for the main character, an abusive family for the supporting character, a shaken-baby resulting in a mentally handicapped young man who rapes the main character's sister, who then dies, and a mysterious murder resulting in body parts being found in the lake where they all go rowing. The only thing she's missing is incest! Don't read this book, it's not worth it.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Vivian.
Author 8 books73 followers
May 17, 2015
Ben er nog niet helemaal uit wat ik hier nou van vond. Ruby Rood is één van mijn lievelingsboeken, maar deze viel me toch een beetje tegen, misschien door de toch nog wel kinderlijke hoofdpersoon, wat ik niet had verwacht. Het verhaal vond ik mooi en de personages intrigerend, maar er miste iets waardoor het me gewoon niet echt greep. Heb het idee dat het gewoon een beetje teveel verhaallijnen door elkaar heen waren en geen ervan werd echt duidelijk uitgewerkt... er zijn nog zoveel vragen die ik graag beantwoord had willen hebben. Jammer, maar het was het gewoon net niet.
Profile Image for Alysha.
7 reviews
December 8, 2010
I read this book as a very young child, and it horrified me. It tells of abuse from parents towards a mentally ill child. Rape and death. You just have to look at the cover to see why a child might pick it up. I thought it would be a enjoyable story if not a happy one. I think this book should come with a warning on it. I picked it up in the library in the child's section and there was nothing in the blurb which told of what the book would contain.
12 reviews
December 14, 2009
I absolutely loved this book. I have read it about five times, i just cant get bored of it. A very touching story, i will always remember this book. I would recommend it to anybody.
Profile Image for Stephanie Hartley.
398 reviews17 followers
July 30, 2021
I thought from the title and because it's a teen book that this was going to be a fairly slow paced gentle read about a summer adventure, but it was far from that. The book comes with a big trigger warning for sexual assault and suicide.

The Year the Gypsies Came is set in South Africa one summer where a gypsy family came to stay near the home of twelve year old Emily. The book is told from her perspective, and whilst at first she enjoys spending time with her sister and the two boys who come to stay, everything is tinged with a sense of foreboding. There's something off in the family dynamic, and when it extends to Emily's family, she doesn't know what to do.

It's very hard to talk about this book without giving away any spoilers. There's a very graphic rape scene in the book that darkens the entire plot. But, in the lead up to this happening, the book has very little plot and really drags. I found it a very sad book with very few glimpses of hope in it. In quite a short span of pages you cover violent child abuse, rape, suicide, grief and the loss of innocence in a myriad of ways.

I gave this book two stars in part because I really think it's far too graphic and harrowing for a teen read (and definitely needed to be marketed at YA readers as a minimum), and because it was very predictable.
February 22, 2023
(September 8, 2020) Linzi Glass’ debut novel is immensely engaging, and this quality is primarily attributed to its lyrical, albeit gloomy nature. Despite complaints regarding the more depressing aspects of the storyline, I strongly believe that the angst is reflective of the protagonist’s age and the way in which a poetically-inclined young girl might process trauma. This is what infuses the novel with its chilling realism, and I would not recommend it to the faint-hearted! The beginning of the story comes off as unostentatious in regards to its sequence of events, however patience and analytical skill during the progression of the plot allow the reader to unlock a richer experience of the novel. Having read this book at the age of twelve, I found it to be a thought-provoking introduction to darker literary themes. The epilogue in particular was quite beautiful, and Linzi Glass did a marvellous job of tying up loose ends with her artful use of metaphor. ‘The Year the Gypsies Came’ struck a chord with my inner child, which is an experience that I am yet to encounter again.
Profile Image for CuteBadger.
764 reviews14 followers
July 28, 2017
I read this for my book club (someone else's choice) and found myself by turns enjoying it and getting cross with it. Although I found some of it quite cliched and could predict exactly what was going to happen, I still felt compelled to get to the end. I thought the family relationships were drawn quite well, and was interested in the South African setting, but there wasn't really anything here that I haven't read before. It was enjoyable enough at the time but hasn't made much impression on me.
Profile Image for IsaJameela.
89 reviews1 follower
March 12, 2021
As you can see from the rating, this book didn't really resonate with me. I didn't like the writing style, and the first hundred pages were uneventful and boring. Then suddenly, we jump into sex and rape and death. The transitioning was terrible. It was also predictable. I could predict what was going to happen in every major event, and hindered my ability to enjoy the story. The good thing about this book, is that it didn't romanticise rape and showed the emotional trauma that it causes. Overall, I feel like a didn't gain anything from this book, and wouldn't really recommend it.
Profile Image for Sylvia.
211 reviews41 followers
April 26, 2019
The epilogue saved this from being a 2/2.5 star read.

I loved Buza his zulu stories and his character as a whole, he was the best part. Especially his friendship with Emiliy did warm my heart everytime I read about it.

Furthermore..., I have very mixed feelings. The writing wasn't special to me and the plot only seemed to start after 2/3 of the book. The three stars are as I think of it, more for the potential of this book then the actual story.
Profile Image for Dai Branada.
35 reviews1 follower
September 16, 2019
Narrada desde la perspectiva de una niña, la historia atrapa desde el primer momento, ayuda a comprender el contexto del apartheid y a los distintos involucrados en una época donde la ideología de razas imperaba con más fuerza. Situaciones inesperadas y crudas, resignificación de las vivencias y reencuentros. Preciosa y conmovedora novela 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
3 reviews
June 14, 2022
Wonderfully descriptive, lush writing. Beautiful messaging and stories, despite an unexpected turn. I understand some of the concerns raised in other reviews - not age appropriate, slow pace, graphic - but I think this book reflects a child trying to piece together complex adult issues. It can be frustrating but also adds a certain innocence and optimism that can be lost in adult books.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Yvonne.
45 reviews1 follower
June 3, 2020
I started this keenly and enjoyed the first few chapters when I suddenly just got bored and didn't bother to finish it. Not something I often do and I can't even really explain why. It just felt as though there was nothing new to look forward to. Perhaps I missed the best part.
Profile Image for zoe jane.
9 reviews
April 7, 2021
it’s so good so good it’s really fucking slow at the beginning and the depiction of otis can be construed as majorly offensive but i love this book and the way it touches on its subject matter, so beautiful
44 reviews
June 12, 2022
Easy to read, but complex and beautiful. There were some loose ends (purposeful?) but I loved reading it. A sad book, that feels like it could have been part of a memoir.
Profile Image for Fobe Knockaert.
114 reviews10 followers
January 10, 2018
Dit boek heeft nog geen plaatsje gekregen op mijn blog. Maar ik beloof dat dit gebeurt want dit was zo’n mooi boek. Het kostte me wel even de tijd om in het verhaal te geraken, maar vanaf het ogenblik dat ik erin zat werd ik echt meegesleurd tot het einde.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 68 reviews

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