‘The Last Stopping Place’ – a book review by Ruby Smith
“We really are living through the days of the last stopping places, and Wills has brought it to light through his fabulous book,” writes Ruby Smith.
Ray Wills, known as 'The Gypsy Poet', has released his second novel and eighth book (based on the GRT community) overall. It is a collection of short stories and poems by the author which details lives on the road. Each individual entry is rich with history and culture, and Wills truly has a talent at weaving a tale in only a few words. His writings have a certain beauty to them; which I think might be because he is a poet above all else.
The works are set across countries, though England does seem to be a recurring setting, which I found to be relatable and pleasing. Perhaps it is because I am so fond of the books set in a past Britain; where the countryside is romanticised and characters like Jane Austen’s Bennet sisters run through fields in the Hertfordshire countryside. Indeed, Wills’ way with words romanticises the lifestyle a little bit, but it does not tarnish the rich history which the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities have.
I am not a big fan of poetry, and as such I do not spend a lot of time reading it. In fact, the last poems which I read were for my GCSE exams when I was sixteen - but I did really enjoy the few included in 'The Last Stopping Place'
I really like Wills' work. I have to admit, I would never have picked up the book of my own free will because under Wills' name, it is advertised that he is 'The Gypsy Poet', and whilst I am inherently proud of my heritage, I tend to avoid poetry like the plague (or the coronavirus!)
This novel is perhaps never more important than it is currently, with the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill which is currently going through Parliament - which will abolish the right of anybody to stop whilst travelling. We really are living through the days of the last stopping places, and Wills has brought it to light through his fabulous book.
I probably wouldn’t read it again, however, because it was quite short and I have a good memory when it comes to books. I would recommend it for those looking for an easy read, though, as it took me no longer than two hours to get through and with very little commitment.
By Ruby Smith
Ray Wills’ books are available to buy from Amazon at Amazon.co.uk: Ray Wills: Books, Biography, Blogs, Audiobooks, Kindle