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Swan Place Paperback – January 27, 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Trobaugh delivers another solid novel of smalltown life below the Mason-Dixon line (after Sophie and the Rising Sun). As in past fictions, Trobaugh's supreme skill is her command of character. Dove, her 14-year-old heroine, is younger than previous Trobaugh women but no less richly drawn. Life in the smalltown South throws a lot of hardships her way. The death of Dove's sweet and fun-loving Mama (who leaves their dry county to go "honky-tonking" with her husband every Saturday night) is followed by a rapid succession of upheavals-from her stepfather's grim car accident to a visit from her deadbeat father to revelations about her real parentage-that threaten to pull the plot toward schmaltzville. Dove refuses to crumble, taking care of herself and her younger siblings-and rescuing the story from melodrama. With touching dignity, she is determined to keep together her evolving family, which includes at various points not only her siblings but a stepmother young enough to be her sister, her stepmother's baby and a devoutly Christian aunt. Dove's perseverance is believable: she voices fears and insecurities while clinging to her pride, learning to accept the support offered by other women and awakening to the fulfillment that reading and writing can bring. Though her prose is a little syrupy in places, Trobaugh manages to make her characters both inspirational and down-to-earth.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Set in rural Georgia, Trobaugh's latest novel follows 14-year-old Dove over a pivotal year as she struggles with the death of her mother, closely followed by the arrival of a 17-year-old stepmother. Among Dove's other challenges are poverty and the care of younger siblings. As in Trobaugh's previous books, the powers of religion, family, and love work together to combat racism while offering hope. Strong women also continue as a major presence, but not even they can bring alive the story. With so many other coming of age novels around and limited book budgets, purchase where Trobaugh (Sophie and the Rising Sun) has built a following or where strong regional interest exists. Rebecca Kelm, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (January 27, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452284147
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452284142
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,898,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I picked up Swan Place without ever hearing of Augusta Trobough before and I have to tell you I fell in love with the writing stlyle and the main charactor Dove right from page one. Swan Place is the story of Dove, an almost 14 year old girl who has a tough road ahead of her. Doves loving Mamas death causes her to be the one left to take care of her two younger siblings, Molly and Little Ellis while her step-father is out working double shifts and clubbing at the local honky tonk. Dove was raised right by her mama and stands up to the challenges ahead of her including having a new step-mother who is only a few years older than Dove herself, children making fun of her at school for wearing second hand clothes, and a secret about her true parentage.
Trombough has a wonderful flow to her writing that just draws you into this story and doesn't let go even once you are finished. This is a must read for all the southern fiction and coming of age readers out there.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this book, its plot, its characters, and the sincere beautiful language and understanding through which the story is told. This is the first book I have read of this author, and most certainly, it won’t be the last.

What I liked most about this book is the courage and strength of the main character, be it a fourteen-year old girl, who tells a grown-up story. Looking at adults through her eyes, her insight, her good-will and even her misconceptions have been a delight.

The novel hovers around dysfunctions: of the family, of the characters, and of the society with cultural overtones of the South.

Swan Place is the story of Dove who loved her mother, and after her death, tried to do her best to survive and to bring up her younger siblings. Although one unlucky incident after another keeps hitting her family, Dove stays strong, despite all the difficulties plus her classmates’ taunts with the help of a few adults who were good to her. One of these adults is her Aunt Bett and the other is Buzzard. Both of these women try to make Dove’s and her family’s lives a bit more livable. Moreover, there are some untold things about her family and her own background that Dove finds out as the story progresses.

What makes this story a perfect example of Southern fiction is: The splendid flow, fantastic characters, deep family ties, religious thought that doesn’t preach to the reader, quirky and well-developed characters, steady pace even through the twists, and the most wonderfully sincere storytelling through Dove’s point of view. If Faulkner’s specialty is known as the Southern Gothic, I would think Augusta Trobaugh should be known as the Southern Hope.
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By A Customer on June 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Completely fascinating, this book was full of surprises and wonderful displays of genuine family love. The strength of 14-year-old Dove is remarkable and the caring nature of so many of the characters is something I found pleasing. I reccommend it to anyone looking for some insight into Southern traditions and the true power of prayer.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a story about the strength of a young girl who rises up to meet challenge after challenge to overcome adversity, creating opportunity for herself and members of her family. She grows to realize that family comes first and color is just a color, not a racial divide. Wonderful Georgia author, I will be waiting for more of her books. Okie Reading Specialist
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By A Customer on April 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. It was so refreshing to find another work of original southen fiction. This book was different from the Secret Life of Bees. Yes, there are a few similarities but it's a stretch to say they are alike in plot.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was either laughing or crying all the way through Swan Place. There are tears drying on my cheeks as I write my praises of Augusta's story. I was especially moved by the description of the circle of sisters and the effect their prayers had on Dove. I think my Mother and daughter would love Swan Place.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a great story. I really enjoyed all the characters and how each accomplished their goals throughout the story--in spite of unexpected obstacles for all of them. I also liked the main character's story of now and the past and how they blended into the past and present and even future of the plot of the story. Highly recommend.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Augusta is quickly becoming a favorite author of mine. This book has all the details to make it a comforting book to read but she quickly adds unexpected twists throughout the book. I absolutely loved Buzzard, a woman of mystery who is such a hero!!! There are so many strong, religious, loyal and moral characters in this book! What a statement to be said about maturity and family. Excellent read!!!!!
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