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They Came Like Swallows Paperback – March 25, 1997
Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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"A heart-warming tale, the book bears witness to William Maxwell's genuine artistry."- Christian Science Monitor
"Rare...exquisite...a cameo-like perfection."- The New York Herald Tribune
"A sensitive, wistful reminiscence... very delightful."- V.S. Pritchett
Top Customer Reviews
My only caveat is that I find the original version better than the current edition, which changed a scene or two. (Why?) Read the current edition and go to the library or haunt your used bookstore for the original.
The novel takes place in November and December 1918. The story consists of three parts, each of which is told from the perspective of a different male of the Morison family -- first eight-year-old Bunny, a hyper-sensitive lad; then thirteen-year-old Robert, a more active "all-American" boy, who carries on with hardly a trace of handicap even though he lost one leg above the knee in a childhood accident; and last, the father James. All three accounts center on Elizabeth, mother of Bunny and Robert, wife of James, and the emotional and psychological lodestone of the family. But Elizabeth dies, shortly after having given birth to a baby boy, and it seems as though the family will disintegrate with grief. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, love and family ties begin to assert themselves and the novel ends with a few rays of hope.
As with "So Long, See You Tomorrow", there is an autobiographical foundation to THEY CAME LIKE SWALLOWS. William Maxwell was born in small-town Illinois, and in 1918 his mother died of influenza after giving birth to a younger brother. At the center of "So Long, See You Tomorrow" is the boy left behind (presumably, William Maxwell).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It took awhile to get into the book. It has 3 sections, each has a different narrator/character.Published 10 months ago by Busy Mom
An interesting juxtaposition, with the novelist writing this now historical novel in the time frame in which it was set. It thus carried a powerful authenticity. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Carol Johnson
thank you for the wonderful hardcover edition, and the secure packaging!Published 18 months ago by Karen Toney
Not a particularly fascinating tale, but so well written that it held my interest. The author has a facile pen.Published 19 months ago by bOOKWORM