When I was about 12, we found a book in an abandoned house out in the country. It may have been a french book, translated, of course. The story was about a young girl, maybe 15 or 16, she was the daughter of a gypsy woman. Her father was dead and he was from a wealthy family. He had married the gypsy woman and lived a happy life with her although his wealthy family had disowned him because of the marriage.
In the beginning of the story, the mother was very sick and consequently died, so the girl goes off in search of her wealthy grandfather, who does not know his granddaughter (maybe doesn't even know she exists, I don't recall). Along the way, she eats birds eggs and camps out, washes her clothes in the river, earthy stuff.
She meets her grandfather and goes to work for him, but deliberately does not tell him who she is. He grows to admire her and then ultimately comes to loves her and then she tells him who she is and he embraces her warmly into his life. He wants to know why she didn't tell him up front who she was and she tells him she wanted him to get to know her, love her and accept her because otherwise, she probably faced his rejection since he didn't approve of her mother and father's marriage. I think the end of the story is that they lived out the rest of his years happily as a family. (He may not have had anyone else other than her, as I think I recall.)
Anyway, it was a lovely book and I have copies of other books from my childhood, such as, Nancy Drew, Dick and Jane, The Secret Garden, etc. and I'd like to have that one, but I don't even know the title! It may have been the girls first name or her name was a part of the title, but I don't recall that either. I think it was a short title, though.
Anyway, if someone can tell me the name of the book, the author or just anything useful in which to find it, I would be very grateful. Even to know that is definitely a french book, would be helpful.
By Vicki from Dallas, TX
I suggest talking to some librarians. Even if the story isn't familiar to them personally they very likely could help guide you how to find it.
It sounds vaguely like a story from Alexander Cordell, a popular British adult and children's novellist from the 1970s. There was a gypsy woman and her husband from a wealthy family in some of his novels.
You are right, Vicki; It is French. The book actually has two titles;" The Adventures of Perrine" and also" Nobody's Girl". The author is Hector Malot. He also wrote "Nobody's Boy". I have not read it yet. Like you, I read Perrine when I was young,way back in 1946. I loved the book. but didn't know the author. A few years ago, I told my daughter about the book, and she found it for me on Google. You can check it out by listing The Adventures of Perrine on Google and it will show the original hardcover book. $122.99, but also available in softcover for around $10.00, Enjoy!!!!! email@example.com
Thank you Deeli and Julie for your responses. Goofus, you made my day, your answer literally brought tears to my eyes and I relatively recognized the name of the title and author. Yes, that's it! I am so happy, now I can set out to find the book. I'd love to re-read it actually. I'm also glad to know that it was a favorite of yours. I had wondered if it was too obscure for anyone to know the title and author. Yippee!
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