Oh what a lovely little book this was! I enjoyed it from the opening page, all the way until the end, smiling, tearing up a bit...it's a wonderful, beautifully written story, one that all of you should run out and get a copy of!
The Year the Swallows Came Early is written by Kathryn Fitzmaurice and introduces us to Eleanor "Groovy" Robinson, a smart and articulate eleven year old, one that loves to cook and dreams of attending culinary school. When she witnesses her father being arrested, escorted by a local policeman into the back of his police car, Groovy is hurt and confused. To her, her father could never do anything wrong, he was a fantastic man that would steal the moon to make her happy.
When the reason her father was arrested is revealed, Groovy's whole world changes. She no longer has those aspirations of culinary school, her best friend's absent mother comes waltzing back into his life, and the swallows that migrate to her seaside town every year show up early. Nothing is the same, nothing is normal, and Groovy isn't quite sure how to handle the new stuff.
Throughout the book, Groovy slowly starts to understand what friendship and forgiveness really mean, as well as how growing up is a process that is not easy, but can still be enjoyable if you just take the bad stuff as it comes.
Kathryn Fitzmaurice has created these amazingly rich characters, a vibrant setting, and a brilliant plot. I loved every second of this book and even a week after finishing it, I'm still craving some of Groovy's chocolate covered strawberries!
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The Year the Swallows Came Early
Middle grade fiction