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Margo Orlando Littell – Each Vagabond by Name

Posted in Book reviews, and Fiction

To live in a small, peaceful place doesn’t mean that drama is not waiting close behind. Each Vagabond by Name is a proof of this theory – it speaks about community shaken by the sudden arrival of stealing gypsies, spreading the fear across neighbourhoods and even trying to become one of them. Each Vagabond by Name is a story about friendships, hardships, tested trust and life’s obstacles.

There are three main characters in the book: Ramsy, Stella and JT. Ramsy is one of those guys from movies – he has a disturbing past, but now he lives a simple life. No matter how much you try to dislike him, it’s impossible because under his hard surface is a kind, tender heart. Stella is another loner of Shelk, known for all town as a poor woman who got half-crazy because of her personal tragedy. The last character is JT, a young gypsy coming to Shelk with his wandering group and a criminal leader Emilian. The character of JT is probably the only one which breaks a stereotype – he’s a clever young man, not afraid of work, well-aware of his crew‘s illegal actions which he condemns.

Shelk is a place of a tight community, small shops and gossips. All men are ‘the true ones’ – big, fearless, proud, redneck-reminding, they are working hard, drinking hard and are as close minded as they can possibly be. On the other hand, all women are (or were) beautiful, and their only flaws are their personal traumas they’ve been through. Really? I find this approach sad.

Surely, there are places like this; in the middle of nowhere, where wilderness is just behind the corner of every house and where the slightest change can lead to public dismay. But if the book is set up in such surroundings, why its plot twist isn’t more dramatic, surprising? I appreciate that Margo added more layers to the storyline, which means it wasn’t only about gypsies terrorizing a small town and its inhabitants, but why was everything so subtle? It’s an adult fiction and in some parts it left me thinking, whether was Margo afraid to dig deeper into social and criminal issues. And before you ask whether my polemic isn’t affected by the popular criminal TV shows full of murders, blood and who knows what more – the answer is no. I don’t watch anything like that and my interests lie somewhere else. However, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t appreciate more action.

What was good though, was Margo’s idea of showing how dangerous it may be when a bunch of outraged people decide to take justice into their own hands.

I believe that readers coming from similar backgrounds would love to read an easy story, set up in the sleepy-hollow like town with nice main characters. There can be something soothing about it. But I’m a rebel at heart, trying to break stereotypes, fighting against close minded people, so to read Each Vagabond By Name wasn’t simply my dream cup of tea. Maybe because I would rather read the story from Kitty’s point of view – someone, who is some kind of celebrity/outcast of the town and is not an old, kind man in the background of all events going on.


Note: I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

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