The BookBrowse members who read this book for First Impressions say ...
The Walking People
had me from the prologue. Beginning in dank tunnels
six hundred feet below the streets of New York the story segues back fifty years to the
west of Ireland as ancient customs crumble along with abandoned villages in the
path of 20th century technology (Gail B).
Mary Beth Keane describes the various unusual settings in such a complete way that I
experienced each one as though I was there (Jean N). Like a series of
consecutive anecdotes, it seems to live on theme rather than plot; which works
well because of the author's gift for character and dialogue (Jinny K). The Walking People
speaks to a beautifully descriptive sense of place.
Book clubs would do well to choose this book, because through the lives of its
various characters, the book...
Beyond the Book
Among themselves, Travellers refer to themselves as Pavees. To
outsiders they are often referred to as pikeys, knackers or tinkers (the latter
two descriptions refer to traditional crafts in which they were employed,
rendering animals and tin-smithing; the first two are considered particularly
derogatory). In Irish, they are known as Lucht Siúil
- the walking people -
hence the title of Mary Beth Keane's novel. Sometimes they are also
referred to as diddycoys - which is a Roma term for a child of mixed Roma and
non-Roma parentage; when used in the context of Travellers it refers to the fact
that they are not "Gypsy" by blood but have adopted a similar lifestyle.
A 2006 Irish national census recorded 22,400...