THE DARK SWALLOWS by Helen Griffiths


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Miss Griffiths who now lives in Spain has written for children since she was fifteen. There is nothing childlike, however, about this quietly authoritative first novel which takes place during the Spanish Civil War and deals with the love of Bernardo, a gentle carpenter, for Elvira, from another village. It is a Romeo and Juliet situation since intermarriage between the natives of these villages is prohibited until the war sweeps such private barriers away, while creating new hopeless circumstances. Bernardo is shot on false charges, and Elvira and some of her relatives pull through as best they can. Since this is a novel about survival, its understatement is most impressive in the closing sections, although the love affair itself is not sufficiently strong to personalize the ultimate intention of the book or suggest that it will reach more than a minimal market.

Publisher: Knopf