Four years after her younger brother, Simon, drowned in the ocean, Francesca Schnell meets a child she thinks might be his reincarnation.
Maybe everything happens for a reason. Following the woman with whom she suspects her father is having an affair leads Francesca to a country club where she meets—and rescues from an ill-advised dive into a pool—4-year-old Frankie Schyler. As she gets to know “Frankie Sky” and his kind but inattentive mother, Francesca begins to see connections between Frankie and her own brother and to wonder if there is a spiritual explanation for the similarities between the two. Unfortunately—or is it fortunately after all?—the only person Francesca can talk to about reincarnation is her best friend Lisette’s very charming, very taken boyfriend, Bradley. And there’s nobody, really, with whom Francesca can share her deepest secret: Simon’s death was Francesca’s fault. This is a quiet story about miracles and relationships, and Francesca has something to learn from each person whose life touches hers—even the neighbor her father keeps visiting on the sly. The prose is gentle but evocative, and Frankie Sky’s childlike exuberance and occasional misconceptions add heart and humor. Some long-standing family conflicts are resolved very quickly, but the story never comes off as saccharine or simplistic.
Both hopeful and careful—like Francesca herself. (Fiction. 12-16)