by Stephan Collishaw Read profile


Published 1st March 2017

Fifteen year old Yael is on the run. The Jewish girl seeks shelter from the Germans on the farm of the village outcast. Aleksei is mute and solitary, but as the brutal winter advances, he reluctantly takes her in and a delicate relationship develops.

As her feelings towards Aleksei change, the war intrudes and Yael is forced to join a Jewish partisan group fighting in the woods. 

Torn apart and fighting for her life, The Song of the Stork is Yael's story of love, hope and survival. It is the story of one woman finding a voice as the voices around her are extinguished. 

‘At once tightly written and suspenseful, Collishaw’s historical novel is a darkly compassionate fable of human endurance in absolute extremity.’ Stevie Davies

‘An elegantly crafted, beautifully written novel about love, survival and hope against all the odds – The Song of the Stork is a reading experience to savour.’ William Ryan

‘The subtle melody of The Song of the Stork caught my soul with its first notes and didn’t leave me until the very last ones. Stephan Collishaw takes your hand and leads you into a world of tragic beauty, inspiring strength and delicate kindness in the midst of horror and through this journey he reminds you of the sound of hope.’ Aiste Dirziute

The Song of The Stork is a harrowing novel about a Jewish girl abandoned in World War 2 and forced to fend for herself in a landscape crawling with sexual ambiguity and brutal violence. It’s a dark jewel that holds up for examination the proximity of terror and savagery to innocence and love. Yet The Song of The Stork is as much about the future as the past. Stephan Collishaw warns us how the times we live in might end up: with an oafish peasantry drunk on Brexit chasing children through the woods, just because their parents voted Remain.’ Guy Kennaway

‘…a masterly work of condensed fiction that synthesises the art of a great writer with the knowledge of a keen researcher who has become immersed in the first-hand sources of the period… A beautiful book that will go down as one of the classics of the literature of the anti-Nazi partisans in the forests around Vilna during the Holocaust.’ Dovid Katz

‘It is a refreshing read that is full of so much love and hope… I really loved this book, and is one that I have already been recommending.’ The Reading Lodge

‘There are many beautiful moments in the story, acts of kindness and small mercies that show human nature at its best… he gets under the skin of his characters and brings them fully to life on the page.One more page blog

‘Distinctive, memorable and poignant… An extraordinary read. Truly extraordinary.’ Little Bookness Lane blog

‘The triumph of good over evil is embodied within Yael.’ Rich Reviews

‘I found Stephen Collishaw’s novel timely, focussed, beautifully written, inspiring and educational… Yael’s story is an alternative to the stories we have been told about the second World War… An important work of literature.’ Mari Ellis Dunning

‘The Song of the Stork is an optimistic coming-of-age story of love and survival amid the horrors of the Second World War.’ Annegoodwin.weebly.com

'I like how this book is written, it's like Yael is telling her story only to you, her painful but emotional adventure, where she will discover love, friendship and loneliness…’ Varietats blog

‘The Song of the Stork is a beautifully written and poignant novel about a young girl in Poland during the Second World War… a beautifully written and moving read about an awful period in history, which is in fact troublingly relevant in the current political climate.A View From the Balcony blog

‘Collishaw has done a fine job of balancing historical reality with the license of fiction, the grim facts of the holocaust with the poignancy of love, and through all it, he manages to offer a sense of optimism.’ Words and Leaves blog

‘This book is beautifully, hauntingly written… Haunting, moving and harrowing, The Song of the Stork shows both the worst and the best of humanity in this powerful novel.’ Portobello Book Blog

The prose is sparse and understated and it reminded me at times of The Secret Diary of Anne Frank, which hints at the barbaric events going on in the world without ever displaying them in all their technicolour horror… The writing is hauntingly beautiful and poetic.’ Bloglovin

‘The Song of the Stork is an outstanding read… a terrifying portrait of what humanity has been and what we might still become… I think that, in a world of noise, The Song of the Stork is quiet perfection.’ Linda’s Book Bag blog

‘What an intense book. As if WW2 wasn't intense enough, Stephan Collishaw caught the pain, fear and hope that jews had back then… I can highly recommend this book if you’re looking for something true-to-history.’ Butterfly in The Sky blog

‘The Song of the Stork is one of those gentle books that works its quiet way into the pathways of the mind. There is a calm exactitude to the writing… If you are looking for a novel of poignancy and provocation, The Song of the Stork is for you.’ Rebekah Lattin- Rawstrone blog

‘This novel is a gem of beauty. There’s something quite special about it, in the style of it, in the aesthetic of it all… It felt like watching a Monet painting, to me… Extremely detailed, very fluid, beautifully crafted.’ Books are here for you

‘The Song of the Stork is the complete package as far as beautiful books go… The prose is dark and intense and my fear for what could happen to the characters I quickly cared for had me refusing to put the book down.’ Book Drunk blog

‘For me, The Song of the Stork was a promising read with the bare bones of the storyline showcasing the author’s intellect in regards to a devastating and memorable situation.’ The Writing Garnet blog