Picks and Pans Review: Little Money Street

updated 04/10/2006 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/10/2006 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Fernanda Eberstadt
REVIEWED BY MARIA SPEIDEL

NONFICTION

A romantic who says she understands the appeal of running away with Gypsies, Eberstadt has written a memoir about the next best thing: hanging with a band of Gypsies in the South of France. With her scholar husband and their two kids, she decamped in 1998 from New York to shabby Roussillon, in the Pyrenees. While her husband wrote, the Oxford graduate formed unlikely friendships with locals like Diane, wife of a Gypsy singer. They drank coffee, smoked Marlboros and chatted ceaselessly. In Eberstadt's talented hands the sojourn becomes an intriguing look at the mores of a mysterious and maligned subset of Europe's underclass, a fascinating freeze-frame of a fading culture.

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