Author: Gavriel Savit
Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 240 Pages
Release: January 2016
My Rating: 3/5 Stars
I received a physical ARC of this novel during a giveaway hosted during Yallfest.
Novels set during WWII have a special place with me. I don't know why, exactly, but that time period holds a great fascination for me. When I was given this book, I didn't even realize it was set during that time period, but once I knew that I was very intrigued.
The story follows, Anna, a young girl in Poland who is alone after her father is taken with the other intellectuals in 1939. Then Anna meets the Swallow Man, who is mysterious and fascinating. The two set out on a journey that takes them through the heart of the war, crossing over dangerous territory.
What I enjoyed most about this novel was seeing this war and what it was doing to the world through the eyes of a young child. Anna is only seven when she and the Swallow Man set out. A very intelligent seven year old with a lot of knowledge, but seven nonetheless. The two mainly stay on the fringes of the war, but you can feel it wearing on them throughout the narrative.
The story is shrouded in enough mystery to make it fun to read, the story is compelling enough to keep me flipping pages, and it's an easy story to delve into, but I didn't find it great. Character driven stories are what I love most, and while this was character driven in a lot of ways, there was too much passage of time and not enough meat to really have me amazed.
I really enjoyed the setting. Recently I've heard a lot of people say that they don't think that Poland gets enough attention in novels and histories of this time period, so I appreciated reading something set in its borders.
This was an enjoyable read and I'm glad that I took the time to delve into its pages. If you're a fan of historical fiction, I think you should definitely gives this a try. It wasn't my favorite, but I enjoyed it a lot.