Monday, July 24, 2017

Book Review: Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit

Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit book cover and review
Historical fiction is my favorite genre, and I've read many World War II books.  I am surprised to say that Anna and the Swallow Man isn't going to be on my list of favorites.

Seven-year-old Anna is abandoned in Krakow when the Germans take her father. She happens upon an unusual man, the Swallow Man, and they hook up and walk around for years.  It isn't clear why they keep walking.  Just to stay safe and keep fed, I guess.  And maybe the Swallow Man is avoiding something.

I think my main problem with Anna and the Swallow Man is the third person point-of-view.  I wanted to feel what Anna felt.  But I didn't.  I felt detached from everything that happened.

And I was very unhappy with the ending.  Really? That's what happened?  It wasn't dramatic. And it didn't provide much closure.

The characterizations are very interesting. And the individual struggles they overcame were compelling. The writing was easy to understand and Anna and the Swallow Man is a very quick read.

I didn't hate Anna and the Swallow Man.  I just didn't feel much for it.  Not my usual reaction to stories of survival during WWII. There are plenty of very positive reviews available so make sure you don't write this off just because of my feelings.  I feel kind of guilty that I didn't really like it much...

Published by Knopf BFYR, 2016
Copy obtained from the library
232 pages

Rating: 3/5

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  1. I was surprised that this book had so many starred reviews last year. I too found the book "wanting", it was truly just odd.

  2. I've had similar issues with some of the starred titles too. I guess this one is more character driven than plot driven.

  3. Too bad this one wasn't good as there is so much really great WWII fiction out there.


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