Jun 25, 2010

Swan's Wing

by Ursula Synge

If you're familiar with the fairy tale in which seven brothers were turned into swans and rescued by a sister who wove them shirts of nettles, you might find this little book interesting. It's a quiet story that contemplates what happened to the one brother whose shirt was unfinished, left with a white swan's wing in place of an arm. His only desire is to be restored, to find a cure. In his journey he picks up two companions- a goose girl who falls in love with him, and an artist who finds his beautiful wing (which the young man loathes) a thing of perfection. I don't remember many details of this story, except that it was full of unhappy people; the man with the swan's wing was continually bitter and miserable, the goose girl loved him without her affections being returned.... it seems the story had an aspect of tenderness to it as well, but my memory is rather fuzzy. Has anyone else read this little book? what do you recall of it? how did it end? I can't even remember if he got his arm back (but I think he didn't and just learned to accept it).

Rating: 3/5 ..... 160 pages, 1981

2 comments:

Jenny said...

I love this fairy tale! I think the one I read was six swans, though...but yeah, I loved this story when I was a kid. I was just complaining the other day that this story never gets a retelling - and I love it so!

Jeane said...

Ooh, you should be excited then I'm thinking of writing about all the retellings I've ever read. I went through at least half a dozen of them, several years ago.