The Cadence of Gypsies by Barbara Casey
On her 18th birthday Carolina Lovel learned that she was adopted and was given a letter written by her birth mother in an unknown language. After years of research she travels to Italy on a mission to find the truth about her past. Carolina is accompanied by three extremely gifted but mischievous students the FIGs from Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women. In an effort to help their favorite teacher, the FIGs will have to use their special abilities to decipher the Voynich Manuscript, the most mysterious document in the world, and the one thing that is strangely similar to what Carolina was given. Their search will take them into the mystical world of gypsy tradition and magic, more exciting and dangerous than any of them could have imagined.
Barbara Casey is the author of several award-winning novels for both adults and young adults, and numerous articles, poems, and short stories. In addition to her own writing, she is an editorial consultant and president of the Barbara Casey Agency, established in 1995, representing authors throughout the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan.
In 2014 Barbara became a partner in Strategic Media Books Publishing, an independent publishing house that specializes in true crime and other cutting-edge adult nonfiction.
Barbara lives on a mountain in Georgia with her husband and three dogs who adopted her: Benton, a hound-mix, Fitz, a miniature dachshund, and Gert, a Jack Russel terrier of sorts.
Connect with the author: Website
Author Guest Post
THE F.I.G.’s “EXPRESSIONS OF CREATIVITY” IN THE CADENCE OF GYPSIES
by Barbara Casey
Throughout The Cadence of Gypsies, one of the on-going themes is how Dara, Mackenzie, and Jennifer, the three orphans with intelligence quotients in the genius range, manage to keep themselves entertained and motivated at the Wood Rose Orphanage for Young Women. It isn’t easy; yet they somehow keep the campus and everyone associated with the orphanage in an uproar—especially the headmaster, Dr. Harcourt:
Even though Dr. Harcourt hadn’t revealed his reason for summoning Carolina, it never even occurred to her that it was anything but something her girls had done. Last month, they had wrapped Dr. Harcourt’s pristine office in aluminum foil. Everything—pens, sheets of paper, curtains, desk, rugs, telephone—was covered in silver. Even the paperclips piled in the black-veined onyx bowl, a gift from another graduating class, were each individually wrapped. Nothing had escaped.
Punishment had been light, considering it was their latest “creative expression” as it was referred to around campus, in a long line of inappropriate, disruptive behavior they had subjected Dr. Harcourt to over the years, probably because he realized they would be graduating soon, leaving Wood Rose, and he wouldn’t have to be concerned with them any longer. They were ordered to unwrap everything and then confined to their dorm rooms for two weeks other than going to the cafeteria for meals, or the chapel for Sunday services, which was pretty much their usual routine anyway.
The month before that, it had been the discovery of unauthorized reading material—or, more explicitly, magazines revealing male nudes—In the FIGs’ rooms. Contraband of this nature was totally unacceptable, stringently opposed to the morals and teachings at Wood Rose, and an extreme violation of the rules. For that, they had been assigned kitchen duty for two weeks–washing dishes and cleaning up the dining room after each meal. The symbolism in this punishment had not gone unnoticed by the FIGs or Carolina.
There had been many other expressions of creativity over the years at the place where the FIGs called home, deeds that had been dutifully recorded in the historical archives at Wood Rose, but lately these expressions seemed to have taken on what most of the faculty and staff considered a more menacing tone of a sexual nature.
When Carolina Lovel turns 18, she learns that she was taken from her gypsy mother and taken to America to be adopted when she was four. She is given a box with a letter from her mother written in code.
Carolina then takes up a job working for Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women. There she meets three girls that are bored and spend their time terrorizing the Headmaster. Carolina offers to take them to Italy where she has them help find her birth family. They also learn of the Voynich Manuscript which is written in the same code as the letter from her mother. It also puts the girls in danger since scholars have been trying to decipher the Voynich Manuscript for years.
I really liked this story. Carolina and the FIGs are strong female characters. They are smart and work together well to figure out the Voynich Manuscript and keeping out of trouble. I liked how there was a romantic interest yet the story didn’t revolve around him. I loved the whole world of the gypsies and you can’t help but feel for her mother and everything she went through.
I have not read any books about gypsies before like this one. It was great the immersion into the culture. This is a great story that will appeal to young adult lovers and mystery lovers alike.
I received The Cadence of Gypsies for free from Italy Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
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