This book is a bit of a sleeper. To be honest, after reading it for a bit, it wasn't difficult to put down. Still it was good enough to go back to. I'm not sure when it grabbed me, but it did, and I stayed up late into the night finishing it.
It turned out to be a sweet slow book; one that gently reminds us of all that is important in being human.
What I liked best were the cast of diverse characters. Our knowledge of them is mediated through the eyes of Raine, a 12 year old girl spending the summer with her mother, Molly, at an artists retreat called Sparrow Road. She misses her Grandfather Mac dearly, and to make matters worse, Molly is keeping a deep secret from her.
Like Raine, the reader is drawn to the openess and warmth of Lillian, Josie, and Diego. Others like Viktor and Eleanor seem cold and prickly with a unique tenderness that is revealed eventually.
Sparrow Road was once an orphanage and Raine soon finds herself wondering about and contemplating the lives of the numerous children who once lived there. She becomes especially caught up in the life of one boy, Lyman. When her mother's secret is eventually revealed, Raine recognizes how much she has in common with the missing children.