Richard Matheson's Reviews > Once, Only the Swallows Were Free

Once, Only the Swallows Were Free by Gabrielle Gouch
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it was amazing

Once, Only the Swallows Were Free

The sweeping events of 20th Century Europe confront familial love, chance and fate in this beautifully written treatment of ordinary lives in extraordinary times. Gabrielle Gouch's book is a deeply personal account of the journey her family must take to survive with the dream one day they will thrive, in Romania, Israel and Australia. Her sympathetic treatment of life with its impossible challenges, its deep disappointments, but its satisfaction in loves shared and opportunities grabbed, both big and small, so that purposeful, and in the end heroic people are made, resonates across cultures and borders.

A usual reader of fiction, I loved this book for its characters, its elegant style, and its simply stated insights into politics and modern life. But most surprising of all was its depiction of the author. Gabrielle is passionate, caring and aware that the peace and comforts we share are lights amongst the darkness, resting on a thin veneer in need of diligent maintenance.

Once, Only the Swallows Were Free is written in the traditions of oral history, making the events and outcomes more poignant for their influence on people's lives and the manner of their reflection. But it all stops too soon! Can't wait for the next instalment.

Richard Matheson
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
October 10, 2013 – Finished Reading
November 2, 2013 – Shelved

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