The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico (1941)
This very slight book -- no more than a short story, really -- was perhaps the most popular book published by this very popular author and sportswriter (1897-1976). Often decried as a sentimental tear-jerker, The Snow Goose is nonetheless a powerful and evocative story. Here's the late, great Molly Ivins' description of the book (which I have gleefully lifted from Wikipedia):
"The Snow Goose is a tale about a disabled painter living in a lonely lighthouse on the coast of the county of Essex in England. One day a girl brings to him a wounded snow goose, which he nurses back to health. The goose returns each year, as does the girl. But the artist is killed rescuing soldiers after the evacuation of Dunkirk, while the snow goose flies overhead."
(I apologize for Ms. Ivins -- she really should not have spoiled the ending of the book for you.)
You can judge the book for yourself. It's a very short read. I liked it a lot, but maybe I was in a sentimental, tear-jerking mood. Here it is:
In addition to The Snow Goose (which was an O. Henry prize winner and was later made into an Emmy-nominated TV movie), Gallico was also the author of The Poseidon Adventure, Too Many Ghosts, The Adventures of Hiram Holliday (remember that Wally Cox television series? You don't? Geez, I'm getting old!), Thomasina, Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris, and many other best-selling books.
Patti Abbott will have all of today's Forgotten Book links at her uber-fascinating blog, Pattinase.