A Wild Winter Swan

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A Wild Winter Swan audiobook

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Review #1

A Wild Winter Swan audiobook free

I read Hidensee, Mirror Mirror (which I am going to re-read next), and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, by Gregory Maguire, all of which I enjoyed. In each of them I was able to discern their relationship to the original fairytale. It was not that way with this novel. Laura is a half-orphan whose father is dead, whose mother after a breakdown is confined in a facility, anqd who is taken in by her Old World paternal grandparents who love her very much, but to whose devotion she is blind until late in the story. Unhappy and bullied at school, she thinks of herself as a non-person, cynical, friendless, and unable to attach to anyone. For responding destructively to bullying, she is expelled. Her exasperated grandparents make arrangements to send her to a boarding school in Canada. There are hints that she might be mulling over writing stories if she can develop a voice and more life experience. There appears on her icy window ledge one wintery night a boy with one arm and in the p!ace of the other, a wing as in the fairytale. Laura does stand in the place of a sister to Eric who in a lucid moment asks her to \’sister\’ him. Laura conceals and nurses him as best she can and provides him with an artificial wing, allowing Eric to escape the room which has become for him a cage. He is foreign: German or Nordic He has no brothers. He is certainly wild, and he has no memories of where he came from, any idea of how he got to Laura\’s window ledge, or any idea where he will go. He is unable to express gratitude for her assistance, and only causes Laura to be blamed for a disaster he commits in the house, a blame she does not attempt to shirk. It is her grandparents\’ reaction to the deed they think she committed, that causes her to realize how much they do love her. I suppose it could be said that the fantasy element of the swan boy is a catalyst for change to Laura, who is freed in a way to open her heart to love and the possibility of friendship, and her imagination to the possibilities of storytelling. The boy\’s origins and his fate remain a mystery. This novel is not Maguire\’s best.


Review #2

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In this engaging reimagined story, a teenage girl in the Upper East Side of Manhattan in 1962 lives a marginalized life in shabby splendor. Beset by casual bullies at her last-ditch private school, Laura is failing socially and academically. Her familial relationships continue to decline with her guardian grandparents due to her struggles and their pressing financial concerns. Enter the swan-boy – a broken, confused metaphor wrapped in a story that is somewhat familiar to Laura. Her attempts to help the boy, her grandparents and herself result in a series of events with mounting desperation, dogging her every action. Maguire masterfully engages us through his clever dialogue, so full of (very familiar to me) immigrant snark with healthy doses of situational piety. He juxtaposes these sensibilities against the delightful insouciance of Laura, the second-generation teenage American. Shakespeare tells us that \”brevity is the soul of wit.\” He couldn\’t be more correct than in this instance. Maguire\’s expert prose consistently delivers. I highly recommend it.


Review #3

Audiobook A Wild Winter Swan by Gregory Maguire

This story is more reserved compared to some of his other stories, but still captivating. Comparatively, there is little action, low steam, and less sensuality. After the swan boy falls from her roof, his scenes/appearances are nothing too dramatic. The swan boy doesn\’t fall from her roof until chapter 11 (there are 29 chapters total). Until that point when he falls from her roof, it is mostly Laura\’s day to day musings and her background. The classic story, The Wild Swans by Hans Christian Andersen, is only used as a soft medium. Although the title would denote a focus similar to the original tale, Laura drives this story in her own original direction. The classic fairy tale is not directly retold, rather it is pieced into Laura\’s story. Some of my questions about the swan-boy remain unanswered. I might find closure with this at a later time. As expected, MaGuire\’s rhetoric is engaging and delightful. Because of the infatuating literary techniques used, it is not meant to be read quickly although it is only 239 pages long. Overall, I enjoyed it.


Review #4

Audio A Wild Winter Swan narrated by John McDonough

As you proceed into the story, you become part of the frame work. You might not be able to unnail yourself off the book;so get comfortable for a great plot. Let your mind flow and enjoy the ride.


Review #5

Free audio A Wild Winter Swan – in the audio player below

I\’ve read earlier books by this author and this one sounded interesting. The book was okay, but not one that made me want to zip through it. It took me a couple weeks to get through it as I kept putting it down and reading something else.


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