A Gift of Magic
Laurel Leaf, 1999 (1999)
Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke
efore she died, Grandmother prophesied a gift for each of her grandchildren - for Kirby the gift of dance, for Brendon the gift of music, and for Nancy the gift of magic. Her daughter, Elizabeth Garrett, moves her children into the California beach house where she grew up. She tells them of the divorce-in-process from their dad, foreign correspont Richard Brendon Garret. Elizabeth learns that her high school sweetheart, Tom Duncan, lives just down the beach from her home.
rendon is enrolled in Palmelo Grammar School, where he is befriended by classmate Greg Russo, a born troublemaker. Nancy and Kirby enter the Junior High, and Elizabeth finds joyful employment at the local library. Nancy is determined to reunite her parents and keep Tom Duncan away from her mother. Circumstances lead her to read about ESP. She finds that she has all types - telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, and retrocognition - and decides to develop her gift, sure that '
Whatever this power was that had been given her, it had been given out of love.
' Kirby meets local ballet mistress Madame Vilar, once a diva, who followed her heart. Recognizing the
and determination in Kirby, Madame recommends her enrolment in the Atlanta Ballet South. Brendon takes to the piano without reading music. Greg and Brendon build a boat out of wooden doors and components that the Russo boy stole - planning to navigate out to the sandbar to dig for treasure.
ust as some stories don't always end as readers desire or expect them to, such is the same with life - it doesn't always turn out the way one hopes. The Garrett family have their share of talents, joys, and trials, but they have something more important - each other. Lois Duncan's
A Gift of Magic
is a sensitive, lightly-written tale of family, and learning that life sometimes delivers hard knocks.
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