If you're on Facebook, you know that Throwback Thursday is the day people post old pictures of themselves or their families. I decided to look back at a favorite book instead, a book from my younger teen years. I treasure the memory of a few books from my childhood; Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, a book containing biographies of ballet stars called To Dance, To Dream, The Happy Hollister mysteries by "Jerry West", all those orange biographies owned by the library that were about the childhood of famous Americans, and today's book, Gypsy Secret by Florence Crane.
Last year, I bought a copy of Gypsy Secret, and paid more than the cover price of 50 cents for the paperback. The format of the book itself is fascinating. This paperback is the same version of the book that I owned as a teen. The copyright is 1957, the year I was born, and the paperback is a 1963 edition. A note says, "This TEMPO BOOKS edition contains the complete text of the original hard-cover edition, published by Random House, Inc., at $2.95." And, I found a review online from Kirkus magazine, a complimentary review of this teen novel of Gypsies and romance.
Gypsy Secret was one of the first romances I read as a young teen. Now that I'm reading it again, I find I had forgotten the sadness in this book. I remembered it was a story of a Gypsy girl named Randy, and that's about it. Actually, Randy Alvarez was sixteen when her father, a Gypsy King, took her from the Chicago tenement where she grew up with other Gypsies, and took her to Calhoun County, Illinois. He had promised her mother, before she died, that he would take her to live with the Lake family there when she turned sixteen. Gypsy Secret is a novel that deals with prejudice against the Gypsies, a secret Randy never knew, and a glorious horse. As a horse-crazy teen, I don't know if I was more impressed with the horse in this story, or the romance. I do remember, though, that I was fascinated with the Gypsy words and phrases in the book, and the atmosphere of this story. The book had an impact that I've never forgotten.
Gypsy Secret is out-of-print, so unless you can get it through interlibrary loan at the library, it won't be an easy book to find. Even then, it's not going to be easy to find this fifty-eight-year-old teen romance.
Florence Crane's Gypsy Secret is a perfect book for Throwback Thursday - Book Style. Is there a book in your past that you remember fondly? Is there a book you've never forgotten from your childhood?
Gypsy Secret by Florence Crane. c1957. Tempo Books edition, 1963. 254p.