This book was a little confusing to get into because of all the little scenarios taking place apart from each other, but all began to blend, and I found myself looking forward to the next "switch". The girl with the special gift displays it in a very subtle way at first, making you wonder about and question what's going on. Pretty soon, you'll get it, and just love her for what she does! The characters are so normal, yet so strange! You will love the way everything comes together at the end.
Publishers Weekly, 2005-10-17 Davis stretches relationships over centuries and species in this loopy follow-up to her historical, Versailles. When three schoolgirls come upon a seemingly dead neighbor, Mr. Banner, prostrate on the beach, he is revived by the uncanny spiritual powers of one of the girls, Mees Kipp, a strange fatherless waif who is also able to communicate with dogs. The narrative's point-of-view jumps among various characters (including a dog) as Davis explores the teeming, deceitful, hidden lives of the small church-going community and teases out its history via the journal of a late 19th-century schoolmarm who harbors a secret passion. (She perished with her pupils in what has become known as the Sunday School Outing Disaster; the 1870s tragedy still haunts the town.) Meanwhile, in the Crockett Home for the Aged, sharp-witted Helen Zeebrugge, at 92, simmers at the stupidity and condescension of her caretakers; her only son, Piet, in his vigorous 60s, is looking for wife number five and is tired of dating the athletic French teacher at the high school. With her eye on Piet, 50-ish divorc?e Billie Carpenter, new to town and unattached, possesses the clarity to grasp the larger supernatural realignment that's taking place in Varennes, as evil (or senseless mortality) is replaced by a life-affirming force: love. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 2006-06-05 Davis's unconventional style of writing this novel is not well-suited to the audio format. Chapters are told from many different characters' perspectives, and the narrative jumps around from past to present. Since Frasier does not vary her delivery or do much to differentiate the voices of the characters, it's easy to lose the thread of what's going on. The novel frequently tosses in "list-style" items, such as police logs and daily horoscopes, which are slow, distracting and repetitive when read aloud. Frasier's cool, objective voice matches the author's narrative tone, but it makes such potentially exciting scenes as a gunman taking hostages in a church flat and dull. The strength of the audio medium is in its intimacy and emotion, the ability of a talented reader to bring characters and stories to life. A novel such as this, told in the detached tone of an impartial observer, does not play to the medium's strengths. It works better on the page. Simultaneous release with the Little, Brown hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 17). (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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