One Lone Swallow
Corinne Fenton and Owen Swan
New Frontier Publishing
This unusual tale is set at the start of the 19th century in Florence. From its opening illustration of a swallow taking flight from her nest high above the city, readers are swept up in the story.
Leaving her nestlings, the swallow flies through the moonlit sky over the rooftops and chimneys searching, searching for her mate. We follow her over the ancient walls and towers, over the chimneys and roofs, under the bridges,
through the arches and above the piazzas, pausing briefly to rest, all the while searching yet knowing that back at the nest her young are calling out their need for food.
Then resuming her search, her eyes detect a slight movement. At the feet of Michelangelo’s statue of David, one wing entangled in ‘shoemakers’ twine’ is her mate.
She takes the end of the twine in her beak and gently begins the task of unravelling the twisted threads. Hidden out of sight lurks a huge rat just waiting to pounce but just in time, with one more pull the last twist of thread comes loose.
Finally not one, but two swallows start their flight back home to their nest.
This is a beautifully told, stunningly illustrated tale of commitment and fidelity. Corinne’s poetic text in combination with Owen Swan’s breath-taking scenes of the twilight Florence of yesteryear make for an extraordinary cultural and aesthetic experience.