Every so often a book comes along that leaves a lasting impression on me. The Year the Swallows Came Early by Kathryn Fitzmaurice is just such a book. This is a book that I would - even though I have a ton of books to read for my work - read again. I love the characters and the setting. I like the way the author explores human emotions and reactions, and I like the fact that the story is true to what happens in real life: endings tend to be a combination of good things and some less than perfect things. Here is my review of the book:
The Year the Swallows Came Early
Ages 9 to 12
HarperCollins, 2009, 978-0-06-162497-1
Groovy Robinson’s father has been arrested and taken to jail. This is bad enough in itself, but when she finds out that her mother was the one who had him arrested Groovy is shocked. Groovy has no idea why her mother did this, and she feels as if her life has been turned upside down.
Groovy loves to think about and to cook food. In her opinion one can match food to situations and to people. Groovy loves cooking so much in fact, that she hopes to go to culinary school when she gets older. Groovy’s great-grandmother Eleanor left Groovy some money, which Groovy hopes to use to pay for her schooling. She is therefore, devastated when she learns that the reason why her father is in jail is because he took her inheritance out of the bank and gambled it away.
Groovy cannot understand why her father would have done such a thing, but she tries not to be too angry with him. She starts working on raising money herself by making chocolate covered strawberries. One thing Groovy notices is that her friend Frankie refuses to forgive his mother who abandoned him some years ago. Groovy does not want to be like Frankie because she can see how damaging his anger is. Despite her good intentions however, when Groovy’s father’s true betrayal is revealed, Groovy’s anger takes over, and she is in real danger of turning into a bitter person, just like Frankie is.
This powerful and meaningful book explores the nature of forgiveness, the meaning of true friendship, and the love of family. The author beautifully weaves her message into the rich and warming story. Sprinkled with vivid and incredibly genuine characters, this story will delight readers with its unique style and its compelling narrative.
Please take a look at the other sites that are participating in this blog book tour.
A Christian Worldview of Fiction, All About Children’s Books, Becky’s Book Reviews, Booking Mama, Cafe of Dreams, Dolce Bellezza, Fireside Musings, Homeschool Buzz, Hyperbole, KidzBookBuzz.com, Looking Glass Reviews, Maw Books Blog, Never Jam Today, Novel Teen, Reading is My Superpower
Join me tomorrow for an interview with Kathryn.