Review of The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner

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For Francesca “Frankie” Schnell, “there are never any good summers, only survivable ones.” This summer promises to be the same. She begins it with a huge crush on her best friend’s boyfriend, a sneaking suspicion that her father is having an affair with a neighbor, her mother deeply entrenched in her charity work, and the ever-present guilt she carries with her over the death of her brother, Simon, four years earlier.

Then she meets Frankie Schyler (aka Frankie Skye), a four-year-old boy who bares a striking resemblance to her deceased brother. When the boy’s mother offers Francesca a mother’s helper job for the summer, she feels so drawn to the younger Frankie that she can’t refuse. Soon she discovers that not only does the boy look like her brother, but she begins to believe that Simon is a part of Frankie Skye.

With the help of the ever-so-honest Frankie Skye, an unexpected shoulder to cry on, a heart-breaking confession, and the attention of a special boy, Francesca learns to let go of the guilt that should never have been hers to begin with.

Polisner has crafted a story that gently enfolds the reader in it’s arms, and then reveals a character’s heart that is so broken that we feel the pain ourselves. As with her freshman novel THE PULL OF GRAVITY, Polisner creates authentic, fleshed-out characters whom we love from the very first page. Even secondary characters get a chance to shine.

Frankie and Frankie will stay with you for a long time.

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