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Het jaar dat de zigeuners kwamen

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  573 ratings  ·  60 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 282 pages
Published 2007 by Pimento (first published March 21st 2006)
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Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  573 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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Nov 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Jul 26, 2014 rated it liked it
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 >
Jan 24, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 m ...more
Opal Lee
May 25, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 so
Oct 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: signed
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.

Aug 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 reali ...more
Ava Black
Dec 16, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Dec 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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 ...more
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. Overal ...more
Apr 26, 2019 rated it liked it
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.
Jun 03, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
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. ...more
zoe jane
Apr 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fiona Groves
Jun 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: saga
I can't say I enjoyed this book because it's too dark and sad a story to have enjoyed it. It is set in 1966 in Apartheid South Africa in a suburb of Joburg that I'm familiar with. The story covers quite a range of topics like neglectful parents, racism, rape, abuse and police brutality. Twelve year old Emily is the story's narrator and it's through her eyes that everything unfolds. She lives with her white elitist parents and her older sister Sarah. Her mother and father are very preoccupied wit ...more
Dec 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
12-year-old Emily is growing up with her older sister and their parents in white Johannesburg under apartheid in the 1960s. Their father is distant and their mother has other interests. Emily spends a lot of time with the old black servant Buza who tells her traditional Zulu stories.

When the parents are getting on really badly they have a habit of inviting a houseguest so that they have to make more of an effort. One day their father comes back with a whole family, living in a caravan. The resul
Feb 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading this book actually. In the start I thought the book was a little bit to boring, but later it was getting better and better. Cried pretty much in the end of the book, it was really sad.

I liked the main character Emily very much, I liked her way to see things. I also liked her relationships to their night guard Buza and her sister Sarah. Buza is probably my favorite character in the book, I just love the way he speaks and tell things. I don't really know, I just like the c
Feb 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ?
Recommended to Matt by: Celine Kagan
With more layers of meaning than a wedding cake, The Year The Gypsies Came is a sometimes confusing, but very profound story that relies on literary devices to tell itself. The more you "dig" into the analysis of the text, the better the book seems. For, a seemingly boring and unintelligible writing style on the surface of the storyline is deeper than one may think it is--it gives way to a profound amount of symbolism and metaphors that tie its loose ends together with underlying themes. But, de ...more
Mar 05, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, historical
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
part of my Around the World Challenge - South Africa.
I found it really hard going and I can't see how it would appeal to many teens. Basically it is all about a young girl and her relationships with her sister (close0 and parents (very distant)and how to ignore their problems they invite others to stay. During the course of this course it is a wildlife photographer and his family who roam anywhere and everywhere. It's about her friendship with one of the sons and her friendship with the Zulu wat
Audra M. Deemer
Twelve year old Emily craves affection from her constantly quarreling parents. She is tomboy with few friends, only her kind older sister and their Zulu servant, Buza who tells her stories of wisdom and magic. When a mysterious family of wanderers comes to stay, Emily finds a kindred soul in one of the houseguests as she learns of the pain and struggles of those all around her in apartheid South Africa.
Aug 27, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 27, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen
Apartheid-era Johannesburg, South Africa. English tomboy Emily and her beautiful, older sister Sara have parents at war. Relief from their parents' fighting comes with spending time with the Zulu servants and taking in houseguests, the latest addition of which is a gypsy family made up of an Australian wildlife photographer, his wife, and their two boys. ...more
Oct 02, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I will be honest and say that I didn't finish this book. It is one of the only texts in which I have no desire to do so. This book actually gave me a nightmare - a fricken nightmare! - as I dreamed that I was a part of this messed up family. It's 4+ rating implies that it should get better. But maybe it was read by the same people who enjoyed "The Secret Keeper's Daughter" ...more
Shannon Jackson
May 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this when I was 13 and had no idea what it was about. I thought it was going to be a sort of light book, but it had so many layers, and I really enjoyed it. I was confused because I had no idea what a 'Zulu' was and I didn't know it was set in South Africa, but it was a really good book. At times a little heart breaking, but well written and a lovely book. ...more
Dec 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tragedy, favourite
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being from South Africa I really enjoyed reading this book, being able to relate to a lot of stuff. And I could understand a lot of the Afrikaans words + Zulu words being Afrikaans and from Zulu land. It was interesting to see how different things are now compared to how they were in apartheid. People here are def more relaxed. Loved it .
Dec 14, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was not a good book for me. I feel as if there were only one or two scenes that were really dramatic the rest bored me a little. I honestly think the ending could've been better for it disappointed me. When I finished reading the book I didn't get the feeling as if I've lost a brother but the feeling as if I haven't lost anything.

Maybe next time Linzi Glass, maybe next time
Aug 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
set in South Africa, this book describes what happens when two dysfunctional families collide - there's damage all around.
This book tries to describe the 1960s by using fashion, politics, etc.
There are some lovely characterizations and relationships.
I recommend this book.
Stephanie Pierre-jacques
The book deserves more credit than what it's getting currently. It is a very dark novel, but it is was still a very good read. People are simply scared of the themes of abandonment, loneliness, and betrayal it has. ...more
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WHY DOES THIS BOOK HIT SOME SOO HARD? 3 38 Nov 10, 2011 04:50AM  

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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

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