Lately I've found I have a taste for historical novels, something I haven't read much of since I was a teenager. It took a few books before I saw a connection that explained why I craved them: the lack of modern technology - no email, no internet, no instant messages, no computer games. I find this very relaxing.
This is not to say that The Year the Swallows Came Early
is an historical novel. Rather it has a wonderfully appealing sense of timelessness. When exactly it takes place is not so important; its setting, on the other hand, is vital: the area of San Juan Capistrano, California, where the swallows return each year from Argentina.
Groovy (nicknamed at age two by her father), but named Eleanor Robinson after her great-grandmother, a science fiction writer (author Fitzmaurice's grandmother, Eleanor Robinson, was a science fiction writer)...
Beyond the Book
All my life, the swallows returning every March 19th to San Juan Capistrano, California, has been a symbol of the strength of nature and of how some things never change. Except they do and, what's more, maybe it never happened anyway, or, even worse, we may be responsible when things do change.
For over a century, St. Joseph's Day annually saw the return of the swallows to the Mission of San Juan Capistrano, where they would rebuild their nests in the ornate structures. They were preceded each year by the slightly earlier return of the "scout swallows." There is a local ordinance against destroying swallow nests, which are made from mud.
Where the swallows returned from was long a mystery; now it is known that they journeyed 15,000 miles from Goya,...