The Snow Goose
The Snow Goose, Paul Gallico’s bittersweet story of loneliness and redemption, spans a decade, from 1930 to May 1940, when the British government implored sailors to take their boats across the English Channel to rescue soldiers trapped before the advancing German army at Dunkirk. During these ten years, hunchbacked and shunned by society, Philip Rhayader purchases a lighthouse on the Essex Coast. There he paints birds and maintains a sanctuary for migrating geese and wild ducks. Philip’s solitude ends when a young girl brings him a wounded snow goose to heal. Over the years, as the friendship between Philip and Frith slowly deepens, the snow goose becomes Philip’s constant companion, even following him around his studio as he paints.
Ten years pass, and when the plea for sailors to rescue the men at Dunkirk comes, Philip valiantly sets off in his little boat. Despite his physical deformity, with the snow goose swirling over his sailboat, Philip rescues many men that day, and he and the snow goose become the stuff of legend.
First published in the Saturday Evening Post in 1940 and again as a novel in 1941 for adults, this new edition is evocatively illustrated by Angela Barrett. Highly recommended.