Six-year-old Kate Kindrick is not like most little girls. Born with the magical ability to read people’s hearts, Kate is tiny, but mighty in her awareness and blessed with many gifts. When Kate was born, her dear grandmother, Grammy Mer, gave her a beautiful angel doll named Etta Ebella, that only rarely leaves Kate’s sight, but the doll has magical qualities and at times is very much alive. Etta Ebella becomes a silent staple in the story as much of what transpires in Kate’s life and her families is closely connected to the angel. Author Sherry Maysonave builds a strong main character in a child, one that remains poised and strong, while still remaining a little girl, filled with trust, wonderment and belief.
After a birthday candle mishap, Etta Ebella is burned and Kate’s favorite uncle, TT, decides to take Kate to his new friend Angelique’s house, a real angel doctor and pediatric plastic surgeon. The Girl Who Could Read Hearts follows the action through many of the characters eyes and the story blooms into something beautiful and hopeful, even in spite of some of the events within the story. Kate is able to decipher danger, although not completely avoid it, knows when Etta Ebella speaks to her, when all the angels do and also is wise beyond her years. Kate and her family face dark issues, some within their own homes, but Kate and her connection to the divine help everyone to see the light. At one point, Kate’s mother begins to wonder if her little girl needs to see a child psychologist, but the love that all of the family shows for her and her attachment to her special doll, shows that the love of family, is one of the greatest loves of all.
The Girl Who Could Read Hearts is full of magical realism, family values and excitement. Each member of Kate’s family seems to have their own moments of discovering themselves and coming together. The otherworldly, divine aspects that Etta Ebella brings to the novel, take the story to another level by adding a new dimension to Kate and her family. There is often more than what is seen on the surface and Etta Ebella and Kate’s gifts reflect this. Author Sherry Maysonave beautifully builds an engaging and admirable main character in Kate and opens up the hearts of her characters by sharing their thoughts and concerns to the reader on an intimate level.
Lauren Cannavino is a graduate student, freelance writer, wine lover, and avid reader. Random musings can be found over at www.goldiesays.wordpress.com.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Stephen Maysonave.