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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 7 July 2003
I purchased this book on a recent trip to Scotland. I had been specifically looking for childhood memoirs by Scottish writers and I couldn't have found a better one! This book is heartwarming, funny, moving and delightfully written. Books like this make one glad to be alive! Jess Smith's book, is full of joy!
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on 23 October 2002
A fabulous book. Don't read it on trains, planes etc or people will wonder why you are chuckling the whole time. It's the story of Jess, a Travelling Person (tinker, if you must) and her mainly nomadic childhood on the roads of Scotland.
Home was an old Bedford bus and as it takes Jess and her sisters and mam and daddy throughout much of Scotland, whilst the family earns a living in varioous seasonal work, we learn of the prejduicie and sometimes sheer hatred she and her family meet.
Despite that, as I've indicated, it's not a sad book, though there are unhappy times. The humour of the situations and all that she experiences as a lively, intelligent child, comes through all the time. There's the time she finds a man and woman making love and is convinced the man is murdering her; the escapade with her cousin's slow worm in his troozers (for which a relative tells the innocent 7 year old she's a 'dirty wee girl' and the time she offended God (and his woman).
Yes, you'll need as hanky to dab the eyes occasionally, but above all this is a wonderfully written book which will appeal to all teen/adult ages..
Thoroughly recommnended. The first time I've ever felt moved to write a review on Amazon.
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on 15 September 2008
She grabs you on page one and never lets go...This is a warts-and- all book of Jessies life. You will laugh out loud. Very entertaining. I felt as though, she was sitting round my fireplace and talking on a one to one. Recalling her magical childhood, brimming with laughter, love and oh aye adventure! Such richness indeed that comes from having the freedom to roam and to weave a tapestry of life..
Would recommend this book to one and all.
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on 24 October 2002
Well, if anyone out there has a yearning for their child-hood (like me and I suspect, most people) then I suggest Jessies Journey is the place to start.
It took me 2 days to read this book (my normal timescale reckons between 2 to 3 weeks), and 1 very annoyed wife and 1 very angry boss later but well worth it in the end.
Jessie transports you on a fantastic journey that includes, bullying, stories of old, love, fantasies, hardships infact experiences that every single one of us can relate to!
Unfortunately, I am not an author and thats a shame because I cannot put my enthusiasm for this book into words. All I can say is fantastic followed by a lot of !
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on 20 July 2007
The best thing I can say about this book is, when I had finished it, I felt as if a good friend had left me.

An important book from a Scottish historical point of view, but also as a way to understanding a misjudged lifestyle.

A five star rating does not do this book justice.
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on 17 October 2002
It's a treat to read such a refreshing biography of a time gone by, instead of all the banal celeb rubbish that's churned out day after day, month after month.
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on 11 February 2007
this was such and enjoyable read. as my mother is a traveller when reading this it was like listening to all the tales she used to tell me when i was a young lad. i immediatly told her about this book and like me she read it in a few days. to read something which is written so innocently is a rare find in todays society indeed much could be learned from jessies journey for all of us. wonderful descriptions of places in scotland many have never seen through the eyes of a travelling child.
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on 13 October 2008
I loved this book it moved me. I had some envey for the childhood she had all though i think it would have been hard as well,jess has a way of walking beside you when you read this book. I have now made my way through the 5 books she has wrote and loved every word.
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on 11 December 2012
This book tells of Jessie's life up to the age of fifteen as part of a travelling family in Scotland. For those of us unfamiliar with the life and community, it does give some interesting insights into the culture and way of life. Although the book is in roughly chronological order, it is a bit disjointed at times, and can be a bit repetitive. I gather that Jessie has a reputation as a story teller, and I do suspect that it might be better to actually listen to her tell some of the stories rather than read them from the flat page; I suspect they would come to life more.
Nevertheless, an interesting book, and I will try the next in the series.
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on 28 December 2012
I'm very interested in socio-historical accounts, particularly when they chart practces that would be forgotten if not kept alive by books such as this.
However, I did not find it gripping enough to keep reading it right through, needing a 'break' and reading something else before going back to finish reading. I wasn't drawn close enough to Jessie or her family strongly enough to share their joys, upsets, hurts and fears. I felt like a spectator, while I'd have prefered to be drwan in in such a way that I could feel their feelings.
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