Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Snow Goose

Illustrator Beth Peck's reputation drew my attention to The Snow Goose,

but it was author Paul Gallico's touching story of sacrificial love that captured my heart.

Set during the early 1940s, the narrative establishes the friendship of two unlikely characters in the small coastal town of Dunkirk.

Philip, the misfit artist and nature lover befriends Frith, a teenaged girl who brings an injured bird to his isolated doorstep. While this storyline develops and resolves, another is happening in the world at large - wartime.

At this point, the plot becomes both historical and spiritual. Philip is departing in his boat to help stranded soldiers.
Frith stared at Philip. He had changed so. For the first time she saw that he was no longer ugly mis-shapen or grotesque, but very beautiful. Things were turmoiling in her own soul, crying to be said, and she did not know how to say them.

The Snow Goose rates high on my list of gift books. The writing is descriptive, the plot instructive, and the illustrations enchanting.

I am not sure who will be the beneficiary of my copy.


  1. I first read this book because I'm fascinated with Dunkirk and what happened there. The first time through I was disappointed; it didn't have the happy ending I wanted. But with time my reading tastes have matured a bit and I can now appreciate its beauty. Very powerful for such a little book.

  2. Yes, Hope, I was touched by the message and could run with it. You know, even tho' Philip was shunned by men, he never lost his humanity. The sad ending only heightens the overall effect, but I can see how that might disturb a young reader.

    Adding your blog to my roll :)

  3. Note to self - listen to the online audio version