A finely written, nimble book that implies that strangers can be bound, sometimes, even before they meet. Alexandra Marie Sinclair has buffalo hair: Dark reddish brown, it's a mixture of the black hair of her Native American mother and the red of her Scottish father. Though Alex lives in the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, her grandfather has provided her with a strong connection to nature and the spirit world. She's never met her father, an alcoholic ne'er-do-well named Earl. Earl buys long-held family land from Lonny LeFreniÂ²re's French stepfather, Pop, a widower. Louny doesn't want the land--two days before his mother's death he disturbed an ancient Indian burial mound there, and has carried his guilt like a heavy stone. When Earl dies and leaves the land to Alex, Lonny is prepared to hate her. Alex surprises him, however, for she's unlike any gift he's ever met. Brooks (Traveling on into the Light, 1994, etc.) spins a complex tale of love, loss, regret, and redemption, making seem effortless the weaving of the spirit world with everyday life. Grounding the story in clear-eyed descriptive details and bringing the characters to life with natural dialogue, Brooks alternates between Alex's and Lonny's perceptions until she pulls the two close, ""Hip to hip, knee to knee. . . Just sitting side by side, together, on a big sunny rock.