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BOOK REVIEW: Along the Enchanted Way by William Blacker

Wednesday, August 09, 2017




Along The Enchanted Way: A Romanian Story
by William Blacker


The Blurb (from GoodReads):

When William Blacker first crossed the snow-bound passes of northern Romania, he stumbled upon an almost medieval world. 

There, for many years he lived side by side with the country people, a life ruled by the slow cycle of the seasons, far away from the frantic rush of the modern world. In spring as the pear trees blossomed he ploughed with horses, in summer he scythed the hay meadows and in the freezing winters gathered wood by sleigh from the forest. From sheepfolds harried by wolves, to courting expeditions in the snow, he experienced the traditional way of life to the full, and became accepted into a community who treated him as one of their own. 

But Blacker was also intrigued by the Gypsies, those dark, foot-loose strangers of spell-binding allure who he saw passing through the village. Locals warned him to stay clear but he fell in love and there followed a bitter struggle. Change is now coming to rural Romania, and William Blacker's adventures will soon be part of its history. From his early carefree days tramping the hills of Transylvania, to the book's poignant ending, Along the Enchanted Way transports us back to a magical country world most of us thought had vanished long ago


My Thoughts:

My cousin recommended this book to me. After reading it, she told me, she and a friend felt utterly compelled to visit Romania before it changed too much. 

I can totally understand this. I long to go too now I’ve finished this book.

The author, William Blacker, was in Germany at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Curious to see what lay beyond, he set out exploring and found himself discovering a long-lost world in which the peasants wore linen smocks and leather-wrapped shoes with upturned toes, and mowed their meadows with hand-made scythes. Fascinated by their cheerfulness and simplicity, Blacker ended up staying for almost a decade. 

Along the way he fell in love with a Gypsy girl and found himself drawn into their wild and chaotic lives, and at odds with his old-fashioned Romanian hosts. 

An utterly charming and poignant book that captures a way of life that is already vanishing, as Romania opens up to the west and its rampant materialism and advanced technologies. 


If you love memoirs or books about exotic places, then you must read Ghost Empire by Richard Fidler! Read my review here

Please leave a comment - I love to know your thoughts!


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