Inspired by the lost voices of the Romany Holocaust, this heartbreaking and tender novel will appeal to readers who loved Sophie's Choice, Schindler's Ark, and The Book Thief. "Remarkable - brave, big-hearted and beautifully written" (Andrew Miller, author of the Costa Award-winner PURE)
Austria, 1944. Jakob, a gypsy boy - half Roma, half Yenish - runs, as he has been told to do. With shoes of sackcloth, still stained with another's blood, a stone clutched in one hand, a small wooden box in the other. He runs blindly, full of fear, empty of hope. For hope lies behind him in a green field with a tree that stands shaped like a Y.
He knows how to read the land, the sky. When to seek shelter, when not. He has grown up directing himself with the wind and the shadows. They are familiar to him. It is the loneliness that is not. He has never, until this time, been so alone.
"Don't be afraid, Jakob," his father has told him, his voice weak and wavering. "See the colours, my boy," he has whispered. So he does. Rusted ochre from a mossy bough. Steely white from the sap of the youngest tree. On and on Jakob runs.
Spanning from one world war to another, taking us across England, Switzerland and Austria, Jakob's Colours is about the painful legacies passed down from one generation to another, finding hope where there is no hope and colour where there is no colour.
©2015 Lindsey Hawon (P)2015 Hodder & Stoughton
"I thought it was a remarkable book - brave, big-hearted, and beautifully written. Harrowing too, of course, at times almost unbearably so, but Lindsay Hawdon meets the material with such honesty and courage we, as readers, can stay with it without feeling crushed by it. It's a first novel that clearly announces the arrival of a very talented writer." (Andrew Miller)
"A haunting book, dealing with a little-known part of history, told in luminous and poetic prose." (Rebecca Mascull, author of The Visitors)
"Wonderfully written - the descriptions, the fractured timeline, the colours bleed off the page and into your soul. This is not just a great book, but a very important one." (Marina Fiorato, best-selling author of The Glassblower of Murano)
"A compassionate, hopeful heart beats strongly throughout this vivid work of poetic imagination as Jakob's Colours journeys across time and space to illuminate a long neglected chapter in the wider tragedy of European history." (Lindsay Clarke, author of The Chymical Wedding)
"A heartbreaking love story.... Writing with passion and poetry, Lindsay Hawdon brings astonishing colour and life to an episode of unremitting darkness and despair. I honestly believe it stands comparison with D.M. Thomas's classic The White Hotel." (Rory Clements, author of the best-selling John Shakespeare Tudor spy thriller series)
"An impressive, heartfelt debut - a book about the power of stories to sustain us and drive us forward. It reminded me of Patrick Süskind's Perfume, but with colours in place of scents...." (Aly Monroe, author of the Ellis Peters Award-winner Icelight)
"Jakob's Colours reduced me to tears. I loved its hypnotic, rhapsodic quality and can't shake it from my mind." (Sarah Vaughan, author of The Art of Baking Blind)
This novel is about a part of WW2 that is not confronted often. Superbly narrated and intriguing right to the end.
"Beautiful, sad, not to be missed"
This is one of of the most powerful novels I have ever read, and it joins 5 other recent, wonderful war novels: Pax, Echo, The War That Saved My Life, The Book of Aron and Salt to the Sea. These all are worth your time. I didn't like the voice the reader used for Jakob...made him sound stupid and brutish to my ears. But you will NEVER forget the scene where Jakob tells his brother that he loves him for the last time.
"An excellent read"
An excellent novel. Beautifully crafted and extremely moving. The story is fascinating and is obviously based on detailed research by the author. When is her next book?
"Jacob'a Colours, will move you as much as Sophie's Choice and Schindler's List"
Very moving and thought provoking story, beautifully written. Almost moved me to tears in places.
"Beautifully written and excellent narration"
The narration was excellent. The reading was not overly emotional which did justice to the beauty of the writing.
Jakob was my favourite character, although all were very well portrayed, including the German official.
Every time a little more of what had happened was revealed I was moved, but towards the end is a moment that made me stop in my tracks...
This was a beautifully crafted and written book about a very emotive subject. The language and the way the story unfolds as well as the narration were a delight within a very difficult subject.
"Heartbreaking debut from Lyndsay Hawdon"
Yes, I think the narrators voice was wonderful, and brought the colours in the novel into sharp focus
It reminded me a little of "All the Light we cannot see" by Anthony Doerr
.Evocative, terrifying, magical and tragic.
The description of Yavy's workshop and the colours he collected there. Also, the depiction of Alfredo's bar.
The last 10 pages utterly destroyed me.
"Still think about the family in my mind"
Yes I do because the reader projected a voice for each character which enables the reader to visualise them
When Jacob was trying to survive in the cupboard
Made me sad, ultimately to cry
This endearing book although fictional may well have been true for many families making it all the more poignant
"A gem of a book"
This is a harrowing topic but compelling. In parts, it is magical and prosaic; even when the subject matter is brutal and unbearable. Some of the chapters felt superfluous - almost as if they were written to buffer the horror and give you chance to re-group and strengthen before the imminent tragic story unfolds but I lost interest in these chapters and would have preferred they were not included. There is magic and love throughout the book and I recommend it highly. The narrator was very good.
it took me many sessions to finish this book, found it boring and slow, rubbish ending, and not stirred the emotions of the real life tragedy that these people endured
So sad! Really well written. I felt I walked in Jakob's shoes. A must read for all!
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