This was lovely at its essence (if not its execution) and so much more than a coming-of-age love story.
When Laurie, wealthy scion and pampered rich boy meets Sasha, a homeless, street hustler, his eyes are opened up to a whole new world that has been right in front of him. His (totally evil and repulsive) father does not take well to Laurie’s new infatuation and kicks him to the curb, literally, where he must make his own way with nothing more than the clothes on his back.
Sasha belongs to a tribe known as ‘gypsies’ or Romani. These people with nothing take Laurie in and show him more caring than his own family. The commentary about the Romani and their ‘invisibility’ can be extrapolated out to any alienated, homeless person living anywhere in the world. Woven here with the love story we get a view of bustling London streets from both sides of the divide. Through Laurie’s eyes we see how easy can be the path to poverty, shame, and neglect, how quickly one can lose everything and be at the mercy of the elements and the kindness of strangers. It is this depiction of a young man’s coming of age that pulls at my heart.
I did find the style of the story-telling odd: formal, with an old-fashioned, quasi-Dickensian feel that didn’t match the modern day setting. Sudden mention of mod tech such as cell phones and the internet would snap me back to present day. In fact, this story could have easily been set during the Victorian era. If you are willing to overlook that, this is an interesting world made more-so with the added depiction of theatre life that Laurie finds refuge in. There’s a lot of color and depth to this sweet, coming-of-age love story with the added spice of an underworld crime/adventure thrown in.