Publisher: Tundra Books
Publication Date: September 9, 2014
Source: Librarything Early Reviewers Program in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this book in no way effects my opinion or review.
In 1960s Toronto, two girls retreat to their attics to escape the loneliness and isolation of their lives. Polly lives in a house bursting at the seams with people, while Rose is often left alone by her busy parents. Polly is a down-to-earth dreamer with a wild imagination and an obsession with ghosts; Rose is a quiet, ethereal waif with a sharp tongue. Despite their differences, both girls spend their days feeling invisible and seek solace in books and the cozy confines of their respective attics. But soon they discover they aren't alone--they're actually neighbors, sharing a wall. They develop an unlikely friendship, and Polly is ecstatic to learn that Rose can actually see and talk to ghosts. Maybe she will finally see one too! But is there more to Rose than it seems? Why does no one ever talk to her? And why does she look so... ghostly? When the girls find a tombstone with Rose's name on it in the cemetery and encounter an angry spirit in her house who seems intent on hurting Polly, they have to unravel the mystery of Rose and her strange family... before it's too late.
I have been on a reading binge lately and needed to read this book for Librarything and was pleasantly surprised by it. The Swallow is a ghost story, yes, but it is also a very good tale of friendship, the outcast, and a very emotional ride.
Being for a middle grade age group this book is different from normal ghost stories, it is not super scary, it is not nasty and full of gross things happening. It is very much the tale of ghosts and how two young girls may deal with them.
Rose and Polly are both on their own; Rose because she is mostly invisible and Polly because her family is huge and there isn't enough time for her in the craziness. As one of those girls - the strange one reading all the time- this book was great for me, even as an adult reader. I think that these issues will resonate with a lot of young readers as well.
The plot was a lot of fun to follow and a marvelous mystery. I had a wonderful time trying to keep up with what might be the case and the background of Rose's strange family, only to be surprised at all the twists and turns the book took.
I loved how it was written - in short chapters which had both points of view, Rose and Polly. They told the story together and separate and it was a fun way to read this tale.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and it was a great read for the cold, fall days.