Thursday, May 17, 2012

Swan Song by Colin Thiele

Twenty six years on from Storm Boy comes Colin Thiele's Swan Song. It is also set on the Coorong and it is interesting to read about the changes to the area over the last few decades. Bird life is still plentiful but the environmental battles have escalated. This story revolves around Mitchell (Mitch), who lives with his parents in a remote region of the Coorong. His father is the sole Parks and Wildlife officer in the area and seems to have his hands pretty full dealing with petty criminals and dolts. Mitch dutifully does his studies through long distance education and when he is not studying he is enjoying all that this beautiful region has to offer.  One day, Mitch discovers two pelicans abandonded by their parents, and much to his father's disapproval, takes them in and raises them from chicks to adults. Finding fish for them beomes a full time occupation when he is not doing his school projects. Plenty Full and Plenty Empty soon become part of the family's life. Then, Mitch bring home a swan's egg which has also been abandoned and with his mother's assistance rasies it to a graceful adult swan.  Not all runs smoothly though, and just as in the novel Storm Boy, there are issue with environmental vandals and thievery from local boats and shops. Accusatory fingers are pointed in all directions and some of the accused become vengeful. I really enjoyed this gentle novel and if you enjoyed Storm Boy you will love this book too. I read it in one sitting. It now graces the shelves of out Little Library of Rescued Books.

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