Monday, February 23, 2009

The Year The Swallows Came Early


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


© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
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6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you love the book. I did to and it always make me happy to know I've picked books for the tour that the bloggers like. I love getting the word about about new authors, especially, who are worth discovering.

Kathryn Fitzmaurice said...

Thank you for the lovely review, Becky! I'm so happy you liked the main character's voice. And it looks like you changed your blog background today, very nice!

April said...

Great post, Becky!! This was such a delightful book. I can't wait to read more by Kathryn! I hope her next book comes out soon! lol

Marya Jansen-Gruber said...

Becky, I think you got it just right when you talked about the way in which Groovy matured. What I liked about her character was that she learned a lot, but she did not let her discoveries scar her. Instead she took what she learned and did something meaningful with it.

Meredith said...

I made a note of the 'foodology' part, too. Wasn't that a creative concept? Sometimes, Groovy seemed more mature than an average 13 year old might be, but then again, I was older than my age when I was thirteen, too.

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy that you liked this book too. I was thinking while reading this book, "I wonder if Becky likes this book." (P.S. I'm loving the blog changes).