The Outside Boy

indexThe Irish Travellers are the subject of this early novel by Jeanine Cummins. The term refers to a distinct culture of itinerants, who maintain a set of traditions. Christy lives as a Traveller, (or Pavee in Irish) in 1959 Ireland with his dad and extended family, having just lost his Grandda. Christy’s culture is generally looked down on, as Travellers are viewed as ignorant and poor, since they don’t own property, live in a house or hold a long-term job. Instead, the men work with metal, repairing and making items to sell, as they travel around. Christy’s mom died giving birth to him eleven years ago, and he carries this constant guilt around with him He spends the majority of the story determined to track her down from an old newspaper clipping that his Grandda saved for him. It’s slow going at times, but the ending is worth the struggle.

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