book review

The Year the Swallows Came Early

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The Year the Swallows Came Early



This is a book about life not being easy. Before all of the difficulties, 11 year old Groovey had planned on becoming a chef. That was until her father gambled away the inheritance her great grandmother had left for her to go to culinary school. At first Groovy is as angry as her mother, who has Groovy's father arrested, yet during the next several weeks she learns that broken dreams, and broken families, can be rebuilt.
This is the first movel from Kathryn Fitzmaurice. We immediately became sympathetic to Groovey and her best friend Frankie, who has his own problems with a disappearing mother. In the middle of this chaos are family members who take care of these kids and help them work their way through to the other side of the big issues at hand. Sprinkled thoughout are elements of nature i.e. an earthquake, swallows returning early and many food elements to bring this story together. Fitzmaurice does not solve all of the problems by the end of the story but there is a lesson that by pulling deep within and being surrounded by those you love can help one to move on. 
This book has a gentle grace which shows that love can conquer the hardest things in life.
Somthing to Do:
Groovy is constantly cooking in this book. How could we not cook? She is known for her chocolate covered strawberries. In honor of the blog readers from the Southern hemisphere, where it is summer now I share my chocolate covered strawberry recipe.
For our friends in the Northern Hemisphere, where it is winter, I will share with you my recipe for chocolate spice covered strawberries.
  • 8 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 oz milk chocolate chips or candy-bar
  • 1/4 cup of shortening
  1. First wash and dry the strawberries really well so that there isn't any water on them.
  2. In a double boiler, place the chocolate and the shortening, stirring constantly until it melts.
  3. Once melted dip the strawberries into the chocolate and place on your plate which you have lined with wax paper.
  4. Once all the berries are dippped place them in the refridgerator for 30 minutes.


  • 8 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 0z of milk choclate chips or candy-bar
  • 1/4 of shortening
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • pinch of  ground ginger
  • pinch of ground cardamom
  • pinch of ground fine black pepper
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • one little drop of vanilla


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