My Name Is Rose ISBN: 9781408814024
Published by Bloomsbury UK, 2011
Rose is a Romanian gypsy and lives happily with her family in a caravan, travelling to various fairs and shows. Nico and Esme, her parents, are musicians, and her little brother Rani is only five. Whilst travelling along a country road one evening, the family is involved in a terrible accident when a car hits the caravan, killing everyone except Rose. When she wakes up in hospital, it is into a strange world run by 'gadje' people (non Romany) and she is frightened and angry and distressed. She has also become entirely mute. Rescued by an English couple, she is flown to England with them, to become part of their family. The Lucas are a rum bunch. Mr Luca and the daughter, Victoria, are quite nasty to Rose and resent her presence, but Mrs Luca tries to be kind. Rose (who must now be called Anna because the Lucas don't know her real name) is very much in limbo and misses her family and her old way of life tremendously. It is only when she finds a violin and begins to play that she begins to feel herself again, and as she progresses quickly, the Lucas decide to take her back to Romania on a concert tour. (Mrs Luca is a concert pianist.) How Rose finds her voice again as well as her old way of life makes up the rest of the story. While the plot may be a tad unbelievable, this is a real page turner, and we want Rose to succeed and for the 'badies' (and the Lucas really are 'badies') to get their comeuppance. It's good on Rose's feelings about the loss of her family and on all her new and different experiences in the UK.