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Not a Swan by Michelle Magorian
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Not a Swan (1992)

by Michelle Magorian

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Lovely book on lots of levels. I really liked the characters. I was shocked by some of the attitudes of the times. (my naiveté). I was glad to see such thoughts changing within the story. A good description of sexual feelings in a young girl. I enjoyed the atmosphere. Felt good about the ending. A wonderful visit to another time and place. ( )
  njcur | Mar 23, 2014 |
Three sisters are sent to live in the countryside in England during World War II where they learn about growing up, giving back, and finding themselves. Main protagonist Rose is the youngest of the three sisters and becomes increasingly isolated as her older sisters find work with home front war efforts. She finds friendship with a unmarried mother and courts romance with two very different men, both endeavors painting a stark picture of the 1940’s social attitudes toward women’s sexuality and independence. Rose’s coming-of-age is fraught with puzzling over gender roles and her own burgeoning sexuality as well as the uncertain future awaiting her country. The setting is a lovingly described classic English seaside town, filled with charming cottages, a cast of unusual characters, and a mysterious deceased benefactress. Magorian’s style is very plainspoken, touching on sensitive issues with frankness, historical accuracy, and aplomb; an easy, engaging writing style that will appeal to YA readers. The self-sufficient war-time manner is appealing in the characters because it offsets their era-appropriate naiveté and innocence of the baser facts of life. Hope, victory, and self-determination are well represented in this beautifully done historical fiction. ( )
1 vote MontglaneChess | Oct 25, 2008 |
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Not a Swan was published in the UK under the title A Little Love Song.
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The partially rewritten American edition of the original British book "A Little Love Song." The American and British versions are essentially the same story, but the American version includes a new sister, Lettie, and some changes in word use and spelling.
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A seventeen-year-old girl in 1940's England spends an unchaperoned summer at a cottage in a seaside village, where a series of diaries by the cottage's most recent inhabitant, together with some intense personal experiences, open up her life to reveal her true wants and priorities.… (more)

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