When Dylan gets expelled from school, he knows that life is going to change – what he hasn’t realised is that it will mean moving house, his mum leaving her job, and a new start for them both at his Grandad’s home on the Welsh coast.
But life in “a town at the very end of the world” has a way of surprising him, and his confidence starts to return, buoyed by stunning surroundings and the spectacular sight of the visiting Hooper swans. When Dylan comes across an injured bird, he finds his fate, and his Grandad’s, intertwined with the beautiful creature’s in ways that will test him to his limit.
Gill Lewis recreates the spectacle of the Swan Fields so delicately that you can picture each detail – yet still long to visit and see for yourself, and Dylan’s anxieties are drawn with similar empathy and expertise.
Swan Song is a book that celebrates nature’s glory, with a teenage audience in mind. There is drama and danger, but also space for reflection. I felt that it was very much a book of these times – a well-aimed reminder that we must protect what is fragile and precious, whether that is the wildlife that brings us joy, or the well-being of the people we love.