The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars describes two days of Sara Godfrey’s summer.  AKA the worst summer of her life.  Ironically, it is not the scary turn of events that causes her distress.  This is the thing that actually snaps her out of her funk.

“Up until this year, it seemed, her life had flowed along with rhythmic evenness. The first fourteen years of her life all seemed the same… Now all that was changed. She was filled with a discontent, an anger about herself, her life, her family, that made her think she would never be content again.”

Sara is 14 years old and about to enter high school.  She is 14 years old, living with her aunt because of tragic circumstances.  She is 14 years old and has not yet crossed through the emotional swings and self-loathing of her teen years.  She is lost inside herself.

“I just feel like nothing.”… “I’m not anything. I’m not cute, and I’m not pretty, and I’m not a good dancer, and I’m not smart, and I’m not popular. I’m not anything.”

Enter six swans-a-swimming on the lake in the woods near her home.  Six swans, all alike, all beautiful, all graceful.  Six swans that can come and go as they please.  These swans will strip her of her self-focus and turn her attention to something she loves more.  And that will make all the difference.



Copyright © Gienah Beaty, bookshelfbriefs.wordpress.com, 2016.  All rights reserved.  (Public Domain image by Jason Gillman courtesy of pixabay.com)