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Book Review : Before the Swallows Come Back by Fiona Curnow

We’re delighted to be sharing Laura’s thoughts about Before the Swallows Come Back by Fiona Curnow.

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Tommy struggles with people, with communicating, preferring solitude, drifting off with nature. He is protected by his Tinker family who keep to the old ways. A life of quiet seclusion under canvas is all he knows.

Charlotte cares for her sickly father. She meets Tommy by the riverside and an unexpected friendship develops. Over the years it becomes something more, something crucial to both of them. But when tragedy strikes each family they are torn apart.

Charlotte is sent far away.

Tommy might have done something very bad.

Perfect for fans of Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah, and Sal by Mik Kitson, with its celebration of the natural world, its misunderstood central characters living on the outside of society’s norms, their survival in the wilderness, and the ultimate fight for justice.

Book Review

I was captivated by Before the Swallows Come Back and especially at the ending as I felt for both of the main characters.

Tommy who lived in a tinker family struggled with people and how to communicate fully in society. He much preferred to spend time in nature until he meets Charlotte. She is a young carer for her father. They meet in the woods by a river and develop a friendship when Tommy and his family visit the area.

With his quiet disposition Tommy gets arrested and Charlotte is taken away to her estranged mother whilst the police investigate.

The characters are well written and I felt for them both as they suffer hatred, loss, abuse and dishonesty.

A great read.

The cards available in the printable mindfulness card deck

About the Author

Fiona is a Scottish writer who spent fifteen years teaching in international schools, before becoming ill and having to return home. Not one to remain idle, she turned to the Open University where she
studied creative writing, completing both courses with distinction, and discovering a new passion. She has since written five books and finds it difficult to be content without a work in progress. That escape into a world of her own making is something very special!

Before the Swallows Come Back was sparked by a meeting she had with a Tinker family many years ago, in rural Perthshire. They invited her to sit by their fire, outside their bender, and listen to stories. It was fascinating, inspirational and never left her.

The conservation of natural habitats and their wildlife is hugely important to her (yes, she is a bit of an eco-warrior!) and the Tinkers and their way of life seemed to lend themselves to carrying this
theme.

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