Author: Jane Lee with David Jarvis
Genre: True Crime
Publisher: John Blake
I have just come to the end of reading Gypsy Jane, the first non-university related book I have read in a long time. I found this book provided a deep insight into Jane Lee’s life – from her offending to her family life and everything in-between. This was a quick read and it didn’t take much energy to read at all due to the relatively short chapters and gripping tales.
I enjoyed the emotion of the book and the way Jane takes you through all aspects of her life from family life, love life, loss, grief, anger, family tensions, betrayal and a key quality for Jane – loyalty. Although all of this was covered in this 250 page book I feel it was done well as accounts were kept quite short whilst remaining detailed.
Although not designed to it touches upon the impacts prison has upon the families of those who are incarcerated. Such as the repercussions it had for her son, John and for father and mother, who sadly died of cancer.
Although the emotion and struggles faced by those involved in the criminal underworld were well displayed in this book the actual content regarding Jane’s offences I feel are hugely fabricated. It is different to many other similar books as, as mentioned, it covers all her life and I feel this is what has saved the book. If it focused entirely on offences I don’t think I would of finished as I really don’t think everything she is claiming rings true. I think her gypsy roots can also be disputed and I feel the book may have been better if certain elements were played down instead of attempting to ‘glamour’ them up.
The final chapter of the book, Revenge, was not what I expected and was dramatic and full of emotion. This showed Jane, in my opinion, at her lowest point and it made me rush through it eager to find out what happens. I don’t want to discuss too much about the last chapter as for anyone who wants to read this it would give a lot away and distract from the tensions and emotions felt whilst reading.
Overall I think much fiction has been added into this ‘fact’ book which really let it down for me. I enjoyed getting the whole picture but would not read this book again and wouldn’t recommend it to others. I would be very keen to hear from anyone else who has read Gypsy Jane or if anyone has any true crime recommendations.
(This book can be purchased from amazon here, http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gypsy-Jane-Lee/dp/1857826647/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top_)