I have just indulged in a feast of beautiful writing, but I am not quite full up. And maybe that is the point of this novel. Sadly, I find myself not entirely satisfied by this read. Something is missing.
I am not sure if I can pin point what led to my current feelings but I will attempt to do so with this review.
It is year 1939 and 7 year old Anna, sees her life changing after the unexplained disappearance of her father. Now vulnerable and in danger as any child of that age left alone would be, she is taken under the wings of a stranger she only knows as The Swallow Man.
The Swallow Man and Anna embark on a journey through a war torn country risking their life at every check point whether Russian or German. A safe haven seems to be as elusive as a moving target and remains forever out of reach.
Not of the Jewish faith however The Holocaust is a tragic event that I will be familiar with to some extent and thinking about it will pain me. It is still today an incomprehensible very dark chapter of our history.
Does this feed into my feelings of dissatisfaction with this novel? Yes, maybe a little. Any reads to do with war can be somewhat difficult to like and enjoy.
Mostly, I felt frustrated with the aimless but necessary journey the characters were on and also that very little was divulged about who they really were throughout the piece.
I personally would not go for this book for its entertaining value that said, I do think that this novel could potentially belong in classrooms as part of the syllabus in literature. The author has an incredible gift with words and is able to describe heart wrenching scenes with real beauty.
Please do not be put off by my rating, this novel remains a beautiful read, it just did not quite agree with me.
Thanking Team @RHKidsUK for providing me with a review copy of this title.
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