Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit was one of the best books I have ever read. Now let me attempt to tell you why. The Great Gatsby by the great F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Bloody Chamber by the legendary Angela Carter are two of my favourite books to date - largely because of the impeccable writing style that flows through both. Anna and the Swallow Man was one such book. I feel like I'm giving compliments without explaining or justifying them like I normally do, and I probably am. But my God, the writing. I haven't read anything so beautiful in a long time.
I haven't read a wartime story since childhood, so this is not a book I would read if I hadn't won it - I used to read a lot of Michael Morpurgo and I distinctly remember How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff, but in the recent past books like The Book Thief just haven't seemed up my street. I am glad I won this in a Goodreads giveaway, because it definitely was up my street. It broke my heart, but in a good way. I didn't understand the ending, and I didn't care. It was beautiful, extraordinary even, and I recommend it to anyone who likes fiction. Or non-fiction. So basically, everybody.
It follows Anna and 'the Swallow Man' as they walk. Just walk. Just a heads up - you don't know where they're walking and you don't know why, but that's not the point. The one mystery you may wonder about is who the Swallow Man is. He never reveals his name to Anna, but you get the impression that he is very important to the war. I for one, would love to know who he is based on, if anybody. Sadly, unless there is a sequel (please, God, let there be a sequel), I may never find out. Even then I may never find out! Gavriel Savit, why do you do this to me?!
I loved this book, a lot. Rating: 4.75 stars/5.
*Although this was sent to me in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway, all opinions are 100% honest and 100% mine.*
Are you an author or publisher looking for book bloggers to review your book(s)? Look no further! My book reviews page tells you everything you need to know.