So I had the pleasure of reading Lo! Jacaranda by Harry Freiermuth and it changed my perspective on life.
Lo! Jacaranda is a Gypsy/Spanish tale that discusses the life of a girl named Jacaranda who is thought to be the daughter of a wealthy ranchero owner and his deceased wife, but as life would have it she is really the product of an affair between her wealthy father and his gypsy lover, Safira. And gypsy's in this story are viewed to be considered second class citizens.
What I really loved about this tale is how realistic and original this storyline is! I felt that Freiermuth did an excellent job conveying both the destructive and hopefulness of freedom and what freedom entails. I don't want to spoil everything, but it was nice to see a character that is in a scenario that has likely happened. I feel that because of how realistic the storyline was it made this book touch the heart of readers a lot more.
A character that I enjoyed was the overall villain of this story which is Jacaranda's half brother Christabo. I never rooted for him and his devious acts to succeed, but it was nice to see the dynamics of this character. Not only was he very mean to the people who have a gypsy heritage that worked on his father's ranch, but he was one of the main factors that led to his sister's marriage falling apart. Christabo is definitely one of the top 10 villains that I have ever had the pleasure of reading.
Another character that I thought was essential to this story was Grast who is the "boyfriend" of Safira. Grast seemed like a flat character at the beginning of this story and I felt that he began to come into his own near the end. I liked how Grast became this indirect father-figure for Jacaranda. Most would assume that he did look after Jacaranda to please Safira, but I felt that he did all that he did for Jacaranda due to him being an incredibly kind person. It really is Grast that helps Jacaranda find safety along with a few others from the Spanish Inquisition once she is discovered to share a gypsy heritage with her mother and is made out to be a traitor by her brother Christabo.
Jacaranda has to prove her strength of mind and heart as she fights for her freedom and evades slavery.
When I got my hands on this book I could not stop reading it! I love these characters and how they have grown. And I would definitely read this book again....and again.
Until Next Time ;*