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They Came Like Swallows af William Maxwell
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They Came Like Swallows (original 1937; udgave 1997)

af William Maxwell (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
4961636,556 (4.05)25
Elizabeth Morison is an ordinary woman. Yet to eight-year-old Bunny, his mother is the centre of his universe. To his older brother, Robert, she is someone he must protect against the dangers of the outside world. And to James Morison, his wife is the foundation on which his family rests and life without her is unimaginable.William Maxwell's unique and moving family portrait confirms his reputation as one of the twentieth century's finest novelists.… (mere)
Medlem:Scottpark7
Titel:They Came Like Swallows
Forfattere:William Maxwell (Forfatter)
Info:Vintage (1997), Edition: Reprint, 174 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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They Came like Swallows af William Maxwell (1937)

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A poignant semi-autobiographical story set during the 1918 flu pandemic, They Came Like Swallows traverses the deliberate change in living as the first world war reaches an end and the H1N1 virus spreads. Through the story of the Morison family, the casualties of the pandemic don't rely on dying people denoted solely by numbers but the personal aftermath they leave. Much more to two siblings who come face to face with the threat and eventual ambush of mortality. What makes this utterly unfortunate is how they don't get along at all. And some pinch of sibling envy and selfishness keep them far apart. Although the pandemic itself persists to be secondary with the complicated family dynamic hampered by gender roles and their complications at the centre, the response of the people is glaringly similar to current responses with the COVID19 pandemic. Indeed, a minor character disagrees with the closure of religious establishments because no way is the virus going to spread in an hour eucharistic celebration. And why will God let people die in his house? Another passing thought to consider is the skewed understanding of children about the pandemic. One kid slightly celebrates the school closures. Yet, They Came Like Swallows is essentially a novel about grief; the struggle to hold it together. The ultimate realisation that the beloved wouldn't come home again, comb their hair again nor even rest their hand on your shoulders again. A loss of innocence happens in parallel as well. And Maxwell writes in pulses of striking imagery and emotional bleakness. Every paragraph is saturated with delicate melancholy and bittersweet sentiments. The departed is perceived through others without really having a voice in the novel; a tearful set of memories in-transit that ceaselessly ripples across the absence they leave.

I am only rating this a tad lower than I should because it's too depressing for the current circumstances. To read a story about the pandemic while experiencing it in real-time is tacit masochism it seems. ( )
  lethalmauve | Jan 25, 2021 |
Really 4.5 stars. Beautifully written book about a comfortably-off family in a southern Illinois town during the flu epidemic of 1918. The book is divided in three parts, as the two children, Bunny and Robert, and then the father relate the story. It's heartbreaking. ( )
  giovannaz63 | Jan 18, 2021 |
A quiet, beautifully written family portrait; not a page turner though. ( )
  ltfitch1 | Jun 5, 2016 |
3.5 stars.
Our book club had an interesting discussion of the complex book, which at first glance we expected to be similar to our previous month’s read ([Crow Lake]), but which was really very different.

We talked about whether the age in which it was written (and about which it was written) was partly the cause, or whether it was the author’s gender. (We found [Crow Lake], written by a woman, more engaging.) We thought Maxwell’s own history of having lost his mother at a young age affected how closely he could get to these characters; he seemed to be holding them at arm’s length. Particularly interesting is that the author manages to paint a portrait of the mother, yet gives her virtually no voice. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 29, 2016 |
Para el niño de ocho años Bunny Morison su madre es una presencia angelical sin la cual nada parece tener vida; para su hermano mayor, Robert, su madre es alguien a quien debe proteger, especialmente desde que la gripe ha comenzado a asolar su pequeña ciudad del Medio Oeste norteamericano; para su padre, James Morison, su mujer Elizabeth es el centro de una vida que se desmoronaría sin ella.
A través de los ojos de estos tres personajes, Maxwell retrata a una familia y a la mujer sobre la que ésta se sostiene. Recreando con maestría el ambiente de la clase media estadounidense de principios de los años veinte, Vinieron como golondrinas muestra esas necesidades veladas de amor y comprensión que nos acompañan durante toda nuestra vida.
  bcacultart | Jan 29, 2016 |
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» Tilføj andre forfattere (6 mulige)

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William Maxwellprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Andreyev, LeonidOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Wilson, MeganOmslagsdesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Elizabeth Morison is an ordinary woman. Yet to eight-year-old Bunny, his mother is the centre of his universe. To his older brother, Robert, she is someone he must protect against the dangers of the outside world. And to James Morison, his wife is the foundation on which his family rests and life without her is unimaginable.William Maxwell's unique and moving family portrait confirms his reputation as one of the twentieth century's finest novelists.

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