Very pleased to welcome Barbara Spencer to the Cafe and Bookstore with her books. Today I am featuring the historical fantasy – The Year the Swans Came.
About the book
Growing up amidst the ruins of war, four children play among the bridges and cobblestone walkways of an old city, using them as a backdrop for their games. Pieter Bader, the eldest, wants nothing more than to work with their father in the family business, designers of mirrors for royalty since the 17th century, while his young sister, Maidy, dreams of becoming a writer. She has her own special bridge, the smallest in the city, around which she weaves stories of swashbuckling pirates and princesses, dressed all in silver, who wear sandals made from the silken thread of a spider’s web. Her best friend is Ruth, a young Jewish girl whose family returned to the city as refugees after the war. Slightly the older, and both rich and very beautiful, Ruth dreams of marrying Pieter, only for him to vanish from their lives late one night.
Is his disappearance linked to the arrival of the swans, feared as cursed and birds of ill-fortune? What will happen when they return six years later, on the morning of Maidy’s sixteenth birthday? And who exactly is the charismatic and mysterious Zande? Follow Ruth and Maidy’s cursed tale of love as they discover what happened to Pieter, how the appearance of Zande will affect both their lives, unleashing events as tragic and fantastical as one of Maidy’s stories
The Year the Swans Came won Bronze in the Coffee Pot Book Cllub Book of the Year Awards for Historical Fantasy.
One of the five star reviews for the book
“The Year the Swans Came” was a beautifully-written, compelling story with truly unforgettable characters. This historical fiction with elements of fantasy/supernatural essentially dwells on the two subjects that run parallel in this novel – love and friendship – and on the importance of both as the consequences of one wrong decision may be indeed deadly. I absolutely loved the central heroine, Maidy, and I grew to actively dislike her “best friend,” Ruth. Both coping with the aftermath of the war and their small town rebuilding its life, they differ greatly personality-wise, which eventually leads to a rapt between the two and inevitable tragedy. The mystery surrounding the swans, even though it mostly takes place in the very end, added even more to an already fascinating story, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I’d definitely recommend it. Great read.
A selection of other books by Barbara Spencer
About Barbara Spencer
In 1967, Barbara Spencer hi-tailed it to the West Indies to watch cricket, the precursor to a highly colourful career spanning three continents, in which she was caught up in riots, wars, and choosing Miss World.
A regular visitor to both primary and secondary schools, in 2010, the publication of Running, a Y/A thriller, took Barbara countrywide, her travels eliciting a series of Blogs and short stories which were published in 2017 as Age and the Antique Sideboard. This marked her retirement from writing, since when Barbara has written several books for an older audience.
The first of these, The Year the Swans Came, a magical fairytale for adults/top teens, was published at the end of 2018.
Thanks for dropping by today and it would be great if your could share Barbara’s books.. thanks Sally.