Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polishner

The Summer of Letting Go

Overview from Barnes and Noble:

Summer has begun, the beach beckons . . .
. . . but Francesca Schnell is going nowhere. Four years ago, Francesca’s little brother, Simon, drowned, and Francesca was the one who should have been watching. Now Francesca is about to turn sixteen, but guilt keeps her stuck in the past. Meanwhile, her best friend, Lisette, is moving on—most recently with the boy Francesca wants but can’t have. At loose ends, Francesca trails her father, who may be having an affair, to the local country club. There she meets four-year-old Frankie Sky, a little boy who bears an almost eerie resemblance to Simon, and Francesca begins to wonder if it’s possible Frankie could be Simon’s reincarnation. Their surprising friendship leads Francesca to places she thought she’d never dare to go—and it begins to seem possible to forgive herself, grow up, and even fall in love, whether or not she solves the riddle of Frankie Sky.

My thoughts:
This book really pulled me in and was, perhaps, not the right choice to read while on a beach.  I kept being haunted by the image of Francesca's brother being pulled out to sea. ( Luckily our currents were nowhere near like that and we all really enjoyed the ocean! ) Since the death of her brother four years earlier, Frankie has felt guilty.  She believes the accident was her fault and that her parents, in particular her mother, balm her for it and can never love her again.  It was heartbreaking to see how deeply she believed herself to be to blame when, as a twelve-year-old she didn't do anything wrong.  She stopped watching him for a minute to look for shells for their castle.  In the four years since she has stopped living and stopped believing that she deserves to go on.  Seeing her work through the past while working as a mother's helped to another four-year old lets her grow up and move past that one event.  Questions about souls and karma and reincarnation rounded out the bigger picture of communication and misperception.  Death and loss changes a family, and the extent to which this family has stopped talking to one another and dealing with every day and past events is troubling.  It took gaining some courage and perspective for Frankie to bring up issues her parents were not even aware of. 

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616202569
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
  • Publication date: 3/25/2014
  • Pages: 320

Meet the Author

GAE POLISNER is the award-winning author of The Pull of Gravity. She is a family law mediator by trade but a writer by calling. She lives on Long Island with her husband and two sons. When she’s not writing, she can be found in a pool or, in warmer weather, in her wet suit in the open waters of Long Island Sound. The Summer of Letting Go is her second novel for teen readers.

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