Published: March 2014
Format: via NetGalley
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Just when everything seems to be going wrong, hope and love can appear in the most unexpected places.
Summer has begun, the beach beckons and Francesca Schnell is going nowhere. Four years ago, Francesca s little brother, Simon, drowned, and Francesca s 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 his reincarnation. Knowing Frankie 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.
The Summer of Letting Go is simply all about letting things go. You see Francesca is trying to move on after the death of her little bother a few years ago, which is hard seeing how she blames herself for his death. She was supposed to be watching after him while her and her family where at the beach she turned her back for a few seconds and he got swept up by the tide. Not only is she racked by the guilt of this but also by the fact that she thinks her mother blames her also. Her mother hasn’t been herself since he died and all that Francesca wants is her old mom back.
One day while Francesca suspects her dad is having an affair she meets this little boy named Frankie whom she thinks is her brother reincarnated. She sees her brother in this boy and wonders if this is some sort of sign from her brother. She decides to take a job as his babysitter to be around him more.They form a bond and Frankie helps her heal in ways she never thought she could otherwise.
This novel is all about the power of forgiveness, acceptance and moving on with your life. We all have loved ones who have passed and we will miss them dearly but at some point we all have to move on. They wouldn’t have wanted us to shut down and not live our lives. One cannot let it consume us. It’s all about the circle of life; we are all here for a purpose rather big or small. And while some pass on too soon we must realize that they touched us in some way that they were meant to.
Gae Polisner’s beautiful writing about a girl who is trying to mend her family and most importantly herself back together is so magical. She brings just the right note for sorrow and hope that will make you love this story.