Jakob's Colours by Lindsay Hawdon

Jakob's Colours

Lindsay Hawdon

The untold story of the Romany holocaust is the theme of this harrowing novel, echoing the timely and recurrent motif of other refugees fleeing across wartime landscapes. Via flashbacks covering three decades, the poignancy of the title becomes apparent as, like in the darkest folk tale, humanity is shown at its worst and at its best. Be ready to be put through the emotional wringer at the devastating ending.

Extract

Watching his mother, Jakob saw a calm quiet space that made her movements lucid, seamless, one leading on from another, as if to break the sequence would be her undoing. Slowly she made up their beds, gathered leaves, soothed her children as she had soothed them every night ...
Only Jakob was still awake when she reached the end of the story. Only he knew of the exultation and the reasons to no longer be afraid. At length he stood and quietly walked around the room, picked up first a round, lake-smoothed piece of glass and placed it inside a small wooden box with a crescent shaped clasp that he had found hidden beneath the stack of logs at the side of the workhouse. One by one he picked up his father’s colours, blew the dust from them, placed them layer upon layer, inside the box. He collected them all, and only then did he lay himself down on his makeshift bed and, clutching his small box to him, fall asleep.

Parallels
  • The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
  • Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally
  • Sophie's Choice by William Styron

Books with similar mood

Yiza

Michael Köhlmeier

Just Another Jihadi Jane

Tabish Khair

The Undertaking

Audrey Magee

The Dinner

Herman Koch

Antwerp

Nicholas Royle

The Dig

Cynan Jones

The Auschwitz Violin

Maria Angels Anglada

Wounded

Percival Everett

The Last Girl

Stephan Collishaw

The End We Start From

Megan Hunter

The End of Eddy

Édouard Louis

The Collaborator

Mirza Waheed

Taming the Beast

Emily Maguire

Windows on the World

Frederic Beigbeder

Boy A

Jonathan Trigell

The Demented Dance

Mounsi

Nineteen Eighty

David Peace

Godsend

John Wray

A Good Country

Laleh Khadivi

Maps of the Soul

Ahmed Fagih

The Betrayal

Helen Dunmore

Trespass

Valerie Martin

Under Fishbone Clouds

Sam Meekings

The Law of Dreams

Peter Behrens

Fires in the Dark

Louise Doughty

Ladysmith

Giles Foden

A Mouthful of Glass

Henk van Woerden

Homegoing

Yaa Gyasi

Almost Like Spring

Alex Capus

The Daylight Gate

Jeanette Winterson

The Colour of Milk

Nell Leyshon

Beneath the Lion's Gaze

Maaza Mengiste

Say You're One of Them

Uwem Akpan

Strange Music

Laura Fish

Darkness and Company

Sigitas Parulskis

The Dog

Jack Livings

Thirty Girls

Susan Minot

Burial Rites

Hannah Kent

The Blindman's Garden

Nadeem Aslam

Running the Rift

Naomi Benaron

The Plaza

Guillermo Paxton

A Thousand Rooms of Dream and Fear

Atiq Rahimi

The Craze

Paul Southern

Stillness

Courtney Brkic

Snakeskin

Courttia Newland

Forest Gate

Peter Akinti

An Expensive Education

Nick McDonell

Imagine This

Sade Adeniran

The Girl From the Garden

Parnaz Foroutan