While perusing the new books shelf at work the other day I came across this interesting title and remembered that it had been on Oprah's summer book list. After rereading the synopsis I decided this would be the perfect book to wedge in between my current Bronte binge. A very suspenseful tale of reincarnation and murder, I devoured it in 2 days.
Grace is a single parent to Sylvie, a daughter she conceived with a much older, married man who is no longer around. Sylvie is 4 and is causing Grace no end of embarrassment and trouble. She screams without stop whenever she is near water, even if it is just splashed on her, she is strangely mean to her best playmate. and often throws fits at her nursery school. Her behavior alienates Grace's friends and dates and gets her expelled from school. More disturbing, she longs for her "real family", only draws pictures of a lonely looking cottage, and when she encounters a picture of a town in Ireland she sleeps with it under her pillow and begs Grace to take her there. At wit's end, Grace reads an article in the local paper about a professor who researches reincarnation,especially in children. Adam Winters is an attractive man who agrees to study Sylvie. He urges Grace to take Sylvie to Coldharbour, the town she loves in Ireland, in order to free Sylvie from her nightmares and memories. They end up going together, with Sylvie, to Ireland and step into a murder mystery.
I really enjoyed the first half of the novel when the author details Sylvie's problems and Grace's frustration with her. The author does a nice job of developing Grace's anger, sadness and bewilderment. When they get to Ireland, however, the plot focuses more on the murder mystery and the character development gets lost. Adam is a very two-dimensional character and I think the author even loses sight of him at times. The mystery is neatly solved and there are great moments of suspense, but in the end I thought this book was just okay.