Along the Enchanted Way
Chosen for the Duchess of Cornwall’s online book club The Reading Room by HRH The Prince of Wales
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.
Elegantly written with a sharp sense of place and the seasons * Independent on Sunday * 'Enchantment is the key word. One wonders whether this might be the book of a lifetime, with all its youthful vigour'Every page and paragraph says Blacker is a natural-born writer and teller of great tales' * Daily Telegraph * 'A lyrical description of an almost vanished way of life that many of us, stuck in traffic jams, in call-centre queues and behind supermarket trolleys, probably find ourselves sometimes hankering after' * Sunday Times * 'A vivid panorama of life in this 'great bubbling cauldron of magic' recounted with humour, poetry and compassion. Enchanted indeed' * Wanderlust * 'Warm and charming, providing a vivid picture of an immemorial culture in its final moments' * Country Life * This is an enthralling account of highs, lows and lessons learnt * Daily Express * 'Wonderful . . . A wild and captivating story' * Patrick Leigh Fermor *
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