The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Hardcover, 320 pages
Publisher: Alonquin Books
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 was another phenomenal novel by author Gae Polisner. I fell in love with her previous title, The Pull of Gravity; however, I strongly felt like I loved this next book even more.
The main character, Francesca a.k.a. "Frankie", is so easy to relate to and you can totally sympathize with her family's struggle with losing her little brother in a tragic accident.
Frankie soon meets little Frankie Sky at the pool and takes over as his summer babysitter. Frankie Sky is laugh out loud funny, tender, and sweet - everything Frankie needs to cope with her brother's death. I loved Frankie Sky so much that I wanted to pluck him straight from the pages so I could have him for myself. He truly made the book stand out as one of the best I've read this year.
While this sounds like a sad novel (have Kleenex handy!), it's that and so much more. Gae does a wonderful job of creating real characters and a striking, realistic plot that leaves you speechless and breathless, all at the same time. This is a perfect, quick read, and one that you'll really devour in one sitting!
When I’m not writing, I’m swimming, hanging with my kids, or cooking and cleaning. Okay, fine, I’m probably not cleaning.I have written since I was little, mostly poems and short stories through college. Then, I went to law school and, for over a decade, replaced all that creative writing with legal briefs. But after my sons were born, I decided to return to my first love.In 1995, I set out to write a book, not knowing if I actually could. I have completed at least five full manuscripts since then.I like to think my novels are accessible, lyrical (somewhat literary) fiction – and, my young adult stories, an homage to the character-driven fiction I loved so much as a child and teen (anything by E.L. Konigsburg, Paul Zindel, Madeleine L’Engle, or Judy Blume…). The Pull of Gravity has a special “secret” nod to the first novel I couldn’t put down – Don't Take Teddy, by Babbis Friis-Baastad. To this day, I remember the feeling of frantically turning pages to find out if the brothers would be okay. If any of you ever read that book, please send me an email, and we can be instant BFF's.My first piece of women’s fiction, The Jetty, was a Top Semifinalist in the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. My second piece, Swim Back to Me, will be revised one day soon and hopefully see the light of day. In the meantime, my next YA novel is coming soon from Algonquin, and I have several more teen novels in the works. So, please check back here often for updates.I live and write on Long Island with my two amazing boys, my handsome, smart husband who sings, and two very "enthusiastic" cockatiels, Taha and Bobo. When I’m not writing, I’m still a practicing family law attorney/mediator, and when I’m not doing that, I’m swimming in my pool or, better yet, the open water off of Long Island.To learn more about YA-author me, read my YA blog, That Wee Bit Heap.To learn more about forty-something wife/mother/swimmer me, follow my women’s fiction blog,
Trying to Stay Afloat in a Sea of Words.