by Patry Francis
Provincetown, MA sets the stage for the relationship between two orphans, Hallie Costa and Gus Silva. Hallie is being raised by her father, Nick, the town doctor. She lives in the shadow of her dead mother. Gus has just lost his mother to his father's violent temper, and he is, at the age of nine, without a mother (dead) and father (prison).
The two are drawn to each other--Hallie seeking to comfort Gus and Gus seeking the comfort and normalcy of Hallie's little family. What follows is a love story between Hallie and Gus and much, much more. Acts of violence, deception, and betrayal will change their relationship and force Hallie to question her undying loyalty to Gus.
The beginning of this story is amazing--the 9-year-olds in pain, who find friendship and eventually love. Then the author throws in this completely awkward and unbelievable plot twist. The novel never recovers from it.