An ingenious dramatization of the turbulent thoughts of a four-year-old boy makes something special of this otherwise somewhat contrived tale of the consequences of an interracial love affair—the fifth novel from the ambitious Scott (The Manikin, 1996, etc.). Young “Bo” is saved by his seat belt in the automobile accident that kills his mother Jenny Templin and sends him to live with his black grandparents, the Gilberts, whose youngest son Kamon, a high school student and Jenny’s lover, had also been killed, by robbers fleeing the scene of their crime, before their later son’s birth. We learn all this and more in fragments, as Scott juxtaposes scenes observed and only partially understood by Bo with extended passages of omniscient narration that move forward and backward in time, tracing Jenny’s estrangement from her own mother, Marge, and the latter’s stiff-necked, religious second husband Eddie Gantz; Kamon’s growing devotion to Jenny and hopeful plans for their future—then, after both are gone and Marge understands the extent of her loss, the custody struggle that takes Bo away from the indulgent Erna and Sam Gilbert and into the orbit of the demanding Eddie Gantz, whose disciplinarian fury erupts during one unhappy Thanksgiving Day. The tactic of revisiting the same event from varying perspectives works superbly, forcing us to keep reconsidering our judgments of these understandably inner-directed, highly fallible people. And Scott creates some wonderful effects with Bo’s limited viewpoint (“he kept running away from Marge and Eddie because he understood it to be a wonderful game . . . “) and embryonic perceptions (his “meeting” with a fox seen prowling near the Gilberts’ car vividly illustrates the range of even a very young child’s muscular imagination). A risk-taking book, unafraid to court sentimentality and melodrama in an effort to show how profoundly well-meaning people can unintentionally shatter one another’s lives. Scott just keeps getting better.