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The Year the Swallows Came Early by Kathryn Fitzmaurice

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The painful path to forgiveness is draining and mercy exits are hard to find. Lies hurt, truths hurt worse, and circumstances paralyze.  For sixth grader, Eleanor “Groovy” Robinson, her father’s foolish gambling bet sucked the future out of her once vibrant life and dreams.  Drenched in anger and disbelief, Groovy searches for reasons to, or not to, forgive.
First Time Author, Kathryn Fitzmaurice, skillfully weaves a beautiful backdrop into an ugly dilemma for her main character, yet allows us to watch how Groovy uses the relationships in her life to shorten her tough path to wholeness and understand “people are just who they are.” 
Fitzmaurice’s style reminds me of Konigsburg’s, The View from Saturday with engaging, yet offbeat characters who unknowingly, through their own drama, provide a mercy exit.
This book is a fast read with a perfect rhythm.  I recommend it for all ages.
Review by Crystal Allen
#1 - March 16, 2009, 08:32 AM
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I got this book from the library and read it in one sitting last week.  When I began, I was reminded of Sensible Kate by Doris Gates and then The Chalk Box Kid by Clyde Robert Bulla.  As I read on, Groovy and her mom move the story beyond my own reminiscences of past wonderful books and make it their own.  I was surprised how much I came to respect Groovy's mom, too.  I was also very touched by the strong Christian faith element that is woven in.  Groovy's cooking--okay, this book has many layers and it would take me a long time to do them all justice.  Do yourself a favor and meet Groovy face to face.  The cover is lovely--looks like it's done in chalk, which is a nice tie-in.  You can't help loving this book.  Nice job, Kathryn!
#2 - March 16, 2009, 09:22 AM
« Last Edit: March 22, 2009, 10:35 AM by Stef »
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