Last Queen of the Gypsies

Last Queen of the Gypsies

by William Cobb


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William Cobb's first novel in nine years is a brilliant, quirky, highly readable story as compelling as it is original. Its main characters journey on parallel quests: Lester Ray, a fourteen-year-old boy who was deserted by his mother when he was a baby and has now escaped his abusive alcoholic father, and Minnie, a woman who was abandoned by her Gypsy family of migrant fruit pickers when she was eleven.

The novel interweaves their searches for families they never really knew. It ranges from the Great Depression to the mid-1960s, and from the panhandle of Florida, where much of the novel is set, to New York City during World War II, to the Georgia and Carolina coasts, to Fort Myers and south Florida.

Lester Ray finds work with a carnival as he looks for his mother, accompanied by all the odd and strange and wonderful people who make up that world. Minnie moves from the dry sandy heat of central Florida in 1933, to a brothel in Cedar Key, to New York, to the little town of Piper, to the winter camps of the Gypsies near Fort Myers. She is—first as a girl, then as a woman—a person of immense fortitude and strength, as engaging and unforgettable as Scarlett O'Hara.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781588382429
Publisher: NewSouth Books
Publication date: 11/01/2010
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

William Cobb has written six critically acclaimed novels: Coming of Age at the Y, The Hermit King, A Walk Through Fire, Harry Reunited, A Spring of Souls and Wings of Morning. His collection of short stories is Somewhere in All This Green. He was writer-in-residence at the University of Montevallo and was the 2007 winner of the Harper Lee Award for Distinguished fiction writing.

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Last Queen of the Gypsies 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
colotallgirl More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading this book last night and had mixed emotions-excited to have finished the story, but sad, because I wanted more!! The character development in the book is unparalled. I felt as if I knew Minnie and Lester Ray personally and was with them on their individual journeys through the south. Mr. Cobb has a knack for capturing the essence of the south--the lingo, the attitudes and the way of life. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good read, from beach vacations to book clubs. I hope he has more stories up his sleeve--I can't wait to read them!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago