The Year The Swallows Came Early

by Kathryn Fitzmaurice
Publisher: The Bowens Press (Harper Collins), 2009
Number of pages: 271

What’s worse than having a mother who checks her horoscope every day in order to plan her life? A father who steals from you. Such is Groovy Robinson’s life, told through her eyes in a poignant and beautiful story about what it means to be thirteen. About what it means to have flawed parents.

The story opens with Groovy and her Daddy walking to town when Officer Miguel stops them. He arrests her father then and there, and takes him to jail, and we’re as suprised as Grovvy is with this sudden and unexpected event.

When she tells her mother, the beauty parlor owner and stylist, her mother calmly says, “I know. I was the one who called the police.”

We sort through Groovy’s life with her, as she develops her deepest desire to become a cook, as she manages the pain of an inheritance lost, a father in jail, a mother who in many ways is superficial. And yet, the story reaches a beautiful conclusion; one of hope and redemption.

In several ways, this new novel reminded me of Sharon Creech’s Walk Two Moon, where the strong female heroine must face incrediable disappointment and loss in the process of growing up. Ultimately, however, there is joy at the end of the journey.


Tomorrow, we’ll have a brief interview with the lovely Kathryn herself.

Other tour stops can be found here:
A Christian Worldview of Fiction, All About Children’s Books, Becky’s Book Reviews, Booking Mama, Cafe of Dreams, Fireside Musings, Homeschool Buzz, Hyperbole, KidzBookBuzz.com, Looking Glass Reviews, Maw Books Blog, Never Jam Today, Novel Teen, Reading is My Superpower