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The Summer of Letting Go
Cover of The Summer of Letting Go
The Summer of Letting Go
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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...
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...
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Description-

  • Just when everything seems to be going wrong, hope—and lovecan 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 goand 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. 

About 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.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    December 23, 2013
    Francesca Schnell goes by Frankie and has avoided the water ever since her brother drowned four years ago. But odd things are happening this summer: she thinks her father's having an affair; she has a guilty crush on her best friend's new boyfriend; and she's hired to look after a rambunctious four-year-old, also named Frankie, who loves the water. Not only does Frankie look like Francesca's brother, he also was born right around the time of his death, and she can't help wondering if the two events are somehow linked. It makes sense that a grieving Francesca would be sensitive to signs and portents, but Polisner (The Pull of Gravity) overemphasizes the coincidences, adding a distracting layer to an already plot-heavy book. No device is necessary to explain the bond between the two Frankies, and the mysticism risks overshadowing the real story: nearly-16-year-old Francesca's reentry into a wider life and the way it builds to a confrontation with the withdrawn but overprotective mother who seems to blame Francesca for her brother's death. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jim McCarthy, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.

  • Kirkus

    February 15, 2014
    Four years after her younger brother, Simon, drowned in the ocean, Francesca Schnell meets a child she thinks might be his reincarnation. Maybe everything happens for a reason. Following the woman with whom she suspects her father is having an affair leads Francesca to a country club where she meets--and rescues from an ill-advised dive into a pool--4-year-old Frankie Schyler. As she gets to know "Frankie Sky" and his kind but inattentive mother, Francesca begins to see connections between Frankie and her own brother and to wonder if there is a spiritual explanation for the similarities between the two. Unfortunately--or is it fortunately after all?--the only person Francesca can talk to about reincarnation is her best friend Lisette's very charming, very taken boyfriend, Bradley. And there's nobody, really, with whom Francesca can share her deepest secret: Simon's death was Francesca's fault. This is a quiet story about miracles and relationships, and Francesca has something to learn from each person whose life touches hers--even the neighbor her father keeps visiting on the sly. The prose is gentle but evocative, and Frankie Sky's childlike exuberance and occasional misconceptions add heart and humor. Some long-standing family conflicts are resolved very quickly, but the story never comes off as saccharine or simplistic. Both hopeful and careful--like Francesca herself. (Fiction. 12-16)

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    February 1, 2014

    Gr 7 Up-With gentleness and thoroughness, Polisner probes the wounds of a family rocked by the drowning death of one of their own, four-year-old Simon. The story begins four years after Simon's death, the summer Frankie turns 15. The beach beckons, but Frankie is cemented in fear and guilt. She believes she is responsible for Simon's death. While Frankie's loyal BFF, Lisette, is wrapped up in her new boyfriend, Frankie has a lot of time to call her own, so she takes on a babysitting job for the emotionally wounded young mother of a four-year-old boy who shares the protagonist's name. Events in little Frankie's short life and his personality bear an eerie resemblance to Simon's, so much so that big Frankie begins to wonder if Simon has been reincarnated. Polisner has a keen understanding of the suffering, maturing teen psyche; Frankie's fragility and self-doubt are heartbreaking in their realism. Her guilt is compounded by the unhealthy coping mechanisms of her parents and by her own distress at having a crush on Lisette's boyfriend. There are no easy answers, but over the course of the summer, Frankie learns the value of believing in something bigger than herself. First-rate realistic fiction with plenty of heart.-Jennifer Prince, Buncombe County Public Libraries, NC

    Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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