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Every year, Dad waits for them. He says it means the start of winter, when they arrive . . . the start of Christmas. The start of everything brilliant.
When he was a boy, he would sit with Nan and Granddad in a field near the lake behind their house . . . and wait. It was usually cold, and dark, and he says they even sat through a snowstorm once. Even then, Granddad knew when they’d arrive. Dad used to think Granddad was magical for knowing that. I can remember waiting beside that lake too, but the memory is more like a dream than something real.
The last time we all waited there together was six years ago: the winter before Nan died. The last winter the wild swans ever went to Granddad’s lake. All of us were huddled by the edge of the water, and the blankets wrapped around my shoulders smelt like dusty drawers.

About the book

While visiting her ornithologist father in hospital, 13-year-old Isla meets Harry, the first boy to understand her and her love of the outdoors.

But Harry is ill, and as his health fails, Isla is determined to help him in the only way she knows how.

Together they watch a lone swan struggling to fly on the lake outside Harry's window. Isla believes that if she can help the damaged swan, somehow she can help Harry. And in doing so, she embarks upon a breathtakingly magical journey of her own.

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Press reviews

“ ... touchingly and delicately drawn ...”


“... heart-warming and rather lovely ...”


“... chock-full of beautiful imagery ... that will tug at your heartstrings...”


“Emotionally affecting and remarkably convincing.”


Author notes

Flyaway is a special book to me. Firstly it’s about whooper swans, which are my favourite birds. Secondly, it’s about family illness, which is an issue close to my heart. And thirdly, it’s about finding hope and love in the most difficult of times, which I believe is the most important thing of all.’


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Australia, Canada, Germany, Greece, The Netherlands, New Zealand, USA, World English Audio