Feb 14, 2008

The Snow Goose

by Paul Gallico

It begins with a crippled, friendless man who lives near an abandoned lighthouse on the Essex coast. He works alone painting the surrounding marshes and waterfowl, building a small sanctuary to protect migrating birds from hunters. One day a young girl brings a wounded goose to his doorstep. It is a snow goose, far from its native home in Canada. They name the bird "The Princess" and work together to heal it. To their delight, the snow goose returns next season, and the girl resumes her daily visits during the its stay. Slowly over the years they develop a special friendship. But then one day the painter, long an outcast from regular society, discovers a means by which he may assist his fellowmen. He sets off on a brave mission of rescue, accompanied by the Princess, which places them in grave danger... The Snow Goose is a quiet, moving and rather solemn story.

Rating: 4/5               Published: 1940, pp 58


  1. Anonymous2/15/2008

    Have never heard of this one and it looks like a really interesting read. Was it written for children? I see the pub date is 1940, is this something that has gotten lost from a lot of classic lit lists?

  2. Verbivore- I believe I have seen picture book versions of this story, although after reading it myself I felt unsure if it was originally aimed at a children audience. Especially the ending.

  3. There was a wonderful movie version of this in the 1970s, with Richard Harris and Jenny Agutter. I think it was Hallmark Hall of Fame, and it's still their most requested movie to be rerun or put on DVD. For some reason, though, the Gallico family won't allow it to be released. It's a shame as this really is a lovely story.


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