Siena’s ability to see glimpses of the past juxtaposed on the present intensifies when she moves to a house in Maine that is oddly familiar.
Her parents are focused on 3-year-old Lucca, who has stopped speaking. Siena feels responsible for Lucca’s silence and spends lots of time playing with him and hoping that he will talk. She also collects all sorts of found items that she deems abandoned. In Maine, she sees and hears members of the family who lived in her house during World War II. When she writes with an old pen found in the house, it produces not her handwriting, but that of Sarah, a girl from the earlier period. Even more astonishing, she seems to actually enter Sarah’s mind, seeing and feeling everything along with her. She also is able to share Sarah’s brother Joshua’s war experiences, which send him home psychologically damaged. Through a compassionate act of courage, Siena’s gift ultimately provides satisfying solutions for Sarah’s family and her own. LaFleur deftly handles the tale’s many layers, never allowing readers to get lost. Events and characters are fully developed and are completely believable, without any sense of contrivance. Tender and brave, Siena is a heroine to be admired.
Past meets present and all is well in this lovely and magical tale. (Fantasy. 9-12)