• Search
  • Lost Password?
Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

The Flight Of Swallows
by Lily Graham
First Lines

image of a woman sat reading by an open window - caption reads 'will these first few lines capture our imagination' - used as the image for Book Beginnings / First Lines, posts


Cover image of the book 'The Flight Of Swallows. by author Lily Graham




“The snow came early that year, settling around the forest like an old bear ready for its cave.

As Ingrid made her way through the silent wood, the sky above performed its northern waltz, a dance of light in shades of pink and green.

She whistled and Narfi came leapfrogging towards her, his large body sinking almost completely into the powdery snow dusting his black-and-bronze coat.

‘Stay away from that fox,’ she warned.

She hadn’t missed the Arctic creature in the distance, its fur almost indistinct from the wintry landscape, its eerie blue gaze pinned on them. ‘She’s looking after her kits and doesn’t know you just want to play.’

He whined, gambolling from her and as close to the fox as he dared again.

She shook her head, cheeks pink from the cold. Her eyelashes were spiked with ice. ‘You want another scar?’ she asked, pointing at his snout with a mittened hand, where he’d had a run-in with a wolf cub as a pup.

He paused, cocking his head, as if weighing her words before coming to a stop at her side.

‘Good choice.’ she said. Then sighed. ‘Besides, you’ve got a task ahead of you,’ she reminded him. ‘I’m going to need you to work your magic today.’

Narfi frowned, making a grumbling, reluctant noise. His liquid brown eyes darted hesitantly from her to the lonely red cabin with its faded, peeling paint edging the frozen lake. It was almost hidden by the tall, snow-capped birches.

The walk was already laborious, her thighs aching from lifting her feet into the waist-high snow, but it seemed even more arduous at the prospect of what lay ahead of them.

At the door, Ingrid paused, resting her head against the wood.

‘It could be one of his better days,’ she told the dog with more hope than conviction.

There was a huffing, impatient sound. Even Narfi didn’t seem convinced.”

Cover image of the book 'The Flight Of Swallows. by author Lily Graham

So, you have taken a look, would you read the book?

Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Just to give you an extra helping hand, let’s show you the book’s premise.

Image of author Lily Graham


Cover image of the book 'The Flight Of Swallows. by author Lily GrahamHamburg, 1938. Fifteen-year-old twins Jurgen and Asta stroll home from school, unaware their world is about to implode.

A family friend stops them in the road, weeping. Their Jewish parents have been dragged into the streets by German soldiers and if the twins return to their house, they will be taken too.

Heartbroken at the loss of their parents, the twins know they have no choice but to flee. They must make the perilous journey across Germany and into Denmark to reach their only surviving relative, their aunt Trine, a woman they barely know.

After days hidden under blankets in a truck with other refugees, they reach the dark, snow-covered forest that divides Germany and Denmark. With safety almost in sight, the twins grow careless, unaware that they are being followed. And when they are found by the enemy, brother and sister end up facing a terrible dilemma.

They swore they would always protect each other, but what happens when that promise is tested?

A picture button for book beginnings at Rose City Reader

You might also like to visit Gilion, over at ‘Rose City Reader‘, who is the moderator of this excellent meme and where you can share links to the book beginnings from her own reading schedule and that of many of our fellow bloggers. There are always plenty of new authors and titles to be discovered, and you never know where that next ‘must read’ will come from

Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

View all articles
Leave a Reply to Laurel-Rain Snow Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    • Hi Lorraine,

      The dog has quite an important role to play in the interactions and conversations between Ingrid and her grandfather, although it doesn’t feature for much of the book!

      No more ‘spoilers’, because I have already finished this book, ready for my Blog Tour / Review spot. It was amazing!!

      Thanks for stopping by and have a peaceful weekend 🙂

    • I can’t really say too much more about the dog than I have already mentioned in Lorraine’s reply, however this is a WWII drama with a difference, as all the action takes part in Germany and the Nordic States and is told predominantly through the eyes and voices of young people.

      I realised how little I actually knew about the part played by the Nordic countries during the war and don’t be put off by the young people perspective.

      This is a heart-breaking story – but oh! so good!

      Review date January 15th 2021 🙂

    • Hi Becki,

      Tragic is a very good word to describe this story and it is a tragedy full of remorse and regret which spans decades – but told so sympathetically by the author! – A truly lovely read!

      Thanks for stopping by and however you celebrate the season, Stay Safe 🙂

  • So heartbreaking from the synopsis. I like the opening and felt like I was right there with the characters. I feel cold now. I really like the cover as well. I hope you are enjoying this one, Yvonne. I would be interested in reading it! I hope you have a great week.

    • Hi Wendy,

      I have never read a WWII story set in Germany and the adjoining Nordic countries before, so that’s another plus point for this book.

      As you say, the cover is quite alluring and the title of the book is also personal to the story, although I almost missed the reference, so engrossed was I in the beautiful narrative and dialogue.

      If you are still in two minds about wishing for this book, although personally I don’t think you should be, my Blog Tour Review is published on January 15th and I am sure that will help you to decide.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and I hope that all is well with you 🙂

Written by Yvonne