Fitzmaurice, Kathryn. 2009. The Year The Swallows Came Early. HarperCollins. 273 pages.
We lived in a perfect stucco house, just off the sparkly Pacific, with a lime tree in the backyard and pink and yellow roses gone wild around a picket fence. But that wasn't enough to keep my daddy from going to jail the year I turned eleven. I told my best friend, Frankie, that it was hard to tell what something was like on the inside just by looking at it on the outside. And that our house was like one of those See's candies with beautiful swirled chocolate on the outside, but sometimes hiding coconut flakes on the inside, all gritty and hard, like undercooked white rice. Things that look just right come undone quicker than the last day of summer.
I love this book. I do. I love the narrator, Eleanor "Groovy" Robinson. I love that she loves to cook. That she is passionate about something and knows what she wants. That she has a way about her--a special way of seeing the world and making those connections that others might miss out on. Her "foodology" for example. I love her vulnerability too. How she has--or had--a simple and idealistic way of seeing the world, but this innocence, this naivety is challenged during the course of the book. Life becomes more complicated for Groovy, that's for sure. But though she may struggle with big issues: anger, disappointment, depression, bitterness--there is always something more for her to hold onto: hope, faith, love, and joy.
Other stops on the blog 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
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