The Year the Swallows Came Early
By Kathryn Fitzmaurice
(HarperCollins Publishers, Hardcover, 9780061624971, 277pp.)
Publication Date: February 2009
List Price: $16.99*
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Eleanor "Groovy" Robinson loves cooking and plans to go to culinary school just as soon as she's old enough. But even Groovy's thoughtfullyplanned menus won't fix the things that start to go wrong the year she turns elevensuddenly, her father is in jail, her best friend's long-absent mother reappears, and the swallows that make their annual migration to her hometown arrive surprisingly early. As Groovy begins to expect the unexpected, she learns about the importance of forgiveness, understands the complex stories of the people around her, and realizes that even an earthquake can't get in the way of a family that needs to come together.
Kathryn Fitzmaurice's lovely debut novel is distinctively Californian in its flavor. Her rich characters and strong sense of place feel both familiar and fresh at first meetingand worth revisiting, again and again.