THE Carrot Picker
Ireni Cordeiro is just seventeen and acting mother to several half-brothers and sisters. Having all her life known only poverty in the slums of Sao Paulo. She saves enough money to buy herslf an illegal passage and entry to England... the promised land. She is particularly torn at having to leave her youngest brother, who has been crippled after being shot by the police while out late one night.
Abused and ill-treated during the journey and on arrival, the perpertrators are caught unawares as she exacts revenge, shows singleminded determination to come through,improve her lot, and succeed against such enormous odds.
Ireni teams up with others like herself, all battling to get away from their own problems. On the amazing journey, several fall by the wayside... but she falls in love. However tragedy strikes many times, and on one such occation she is forced to leave her lover, Jose, for dead after a street fight between locals and the travelling band.
Heartbroken and having travelled by sea and land, she eventually makes it to Calais, but the French have recently closed the Sangatte holding camp, there are a growing number of illegal immigrants trying to make it to England. In order to get there Ireni risks putting herself into the hands of a gang of Albanian people traffickers.
They at least succeed in getting her to England where she joins many others working on the farms of East Anglia. Further exploited and forced to pay back the sevices of the Albanians, and living in conditions no better than they had fled, they are kept under strict control.
Working in the carrot sheds of a farm... Ireni has become a carrot picker.
Having caught the eye of the son of the farm owner, Ireni is given a privileged job and along with it the close attention of the son. Despite warnings from the other workers she falls for his charms and believes that she is to become his wife, a position that she could only have dreamt of. The dream turns to a nightmare when she is cofronted by his actual wife that Ireni had never realised exsisted.
By now her privilged job had become one of housekeeper to the widowed farm owner, they grow close as he sees in Ireni the daughter he had never had. Tragedy strikes again when he suddenly dies. The son showing no feelings for his father, simply sees the opportunity to get his hands on the farm and all the valuable biulding land that he had never been abale to persuade his father to sell.
However it is Ireni who is stunned to be told that it is instead her who has inherited everything. A battle ensues between her and the son but she is able,with her new found wealth, to fight him off and improve her lot and that of those who travelled with her. First by making them leagal.
Ireni travels back to Brazil to collect her young crippled brother whom she had been so upset to leave behind. On her return to England, she is overjoyed to find that Jose, the lover she had left for dead has suvived and tracked her down.
Together they set out to biuld a hostel for those like them who have made the long jouney, offering them some protection from the traffickers and exploitation. This causes huge local opposition, but they fight on.
Ireni plans to marry Jose and when they go to choose an engagement ring of diamonds, she points out that the carrot picker has become a carat picker.
Full of tension, and page tuning excitement...
Sadness and homour sit neatly together...
The reader will be willing her on.
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