My book review of 'The Swallows' Flight' by Hilary McKay
The Swallows' Flight
When a book is as wonderful as 'The Skylarks' War', there are mixed emotions when picking up its companion volume. First, there's delight at being able to step once again into the world and characters so beautifully evoked by Hilary McKay. But then there's trepidation - will it come up to the mark?
Her writing, though, is extraordinary. It's so warm and assured with the characters displaying a lightness of spirit, a humour and fortitude despite challenging circumstances. And you believe in them throughout, delighting in their company. The exchange between Kate and her grandfather I found particularly appealing.
We revisit a number of the characters whom we met in Skylarks. Now it's World War II and Rupert and Clarry are secretly working towards peace. But we also trace the lives of two German boys as well as Ruby and Kate growing up in England. Their experiences are very different but the international conflict will cause their worlds to collide.
It's another beautiful read, full of nostalgia and period drama and also confronting the issues of family, friendship, conflict and courage.