About The Pavee and The Buffer Girl
Jim Curran is a Traveller child newly settled in the town of Dundray. The authorities have forced him into the local school, but it’s a hostile place for a Traveller. He suffers prejudice and violence but also makes a friend in a girl called Kit. Under Kit’s care Jim begins to find a place for himself in Dundray, but everyday prejudice and a shocking act of violence intervene to uproot his life once more.
A stunning story by the much-missed Siobhan Dowd, brought to life in stunning ink-and-wash artwork by rising star Emma Shoard.
The Pavee and the Buffer Girl first appeared in the Skin Deep Anthology in 2003. And while I really liked Dowd’s story, and the window it opens in to a different way of life, I do think that outside of the collection, or this wonderful illustrated edition, it could come across as a little slim.
But that’s the thing, short-stories written for anthologies often have a strict word count and need to do a lot within that limit, and an author can’t always fill the story out as much as they would otherwise like. But that’s where Emma Shoard’s amazing illustrations come in. They add just so much to the story, and perfectly compliment the mood of Dowd’s writing.
They show so much of what isn’t written down. The feelings of our main characters, the hatred and prejudice they both suffer. Jim and Kit would be likeable enough anyway, but as you ‘see’ their friendship develop, you’ll feel for them even more.
If you get the chance you should definitely pick up a copy, once you start flicking though it and see the illustrations, you’ll be taking a copy to your local bookshops till before you realise what you’re doing! Just so you can learn more of Jim and Kit’s story.
My copy of The Pavee and the Buffer Girl was provided by the publisher for review purposes.