Once, Only the Swallows Were Free

Once, Only the Swallows Were Free


SKU: 978-1-921665-99-8 Categories: , , Product ID: 2951


Twenty-five years after Gabrielle Gouch left her native land, Transylvania, communism collapsed and the author, now an Australian, returned to visit her half-brother Tom. The years of separation are difficult to erase, but he opens up eventually. In a cosy room with red Persian carpets and photographs of his mother, gentle Tom shares stories of his life, often funny, sometimes heartbreaking but never self-pitying.
Though the story is factual, the author uses her strong eye for detail and the techniques of fiction to create this engaging and thought-provoking account about ordinary people in turbulent times. These sad and funny tales are interleaved with the story of the rest of the family from which Tom became estranged.

To check out Gabrielle Gouch’s website, click here.

‘Exceptional times call for extraordinary measures and Gouch takes a complex true story and delivers an exceptional chronicle. Interwoven are the far-reaching deeds of 20th century Europe that confront ancestral love, fortuitous occasions and destiny. The resulting tapestry is a well-written treatment of ordinary lives living in remarkable times.’
Read the rest of this review here.

‘This memoir portrays the exodus of Jewish families from Romania and their arrival in the Promised Land, a dream come true for some but a shock for others. It explores issues of identity, disability, emigration and family relationships against a background of the major political events of the time from a perspective that challenges some accepted views.
‘A very interesting book with some great observations, and some lovely turns of phrase.’ –Sue Terry, Whispering Gums
Read the full review here.

‘The book is an exceptional read. It spans a significant historical period of post World War II Transylvania/Romania and Israel. Gabrielle’s writing vivdly captures critical details of her life and experiences enriching the reader with insights few have touched on before. The read was most enjoyable, the content insightful and the experience transporting. Highly recommended.’ Anita
“The sweeping events of 20th Century Europe confront familial love, chance and fate in this beautifully written treatment of ordinary lives in extraordinary times.”
Richard Matheson. Read the whole review here.

How do displaced people rediscover themselves in each new land they call home? Listen to Gabrielle Gouch’s interview about her new book on 2SER. (Starts at 12.00-17.55 then 22.50-27.40.) http://www.2ser.com/privacy/itemlist/category/99
Read some great reviews on Goodreads here and here.

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Gabrielle Gouch



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