Author: Suzanne LaFleur
Published: August 2013
" 'We're moving to your house - the one from your dream'.
Siena sees what isn't there; collects what's left behind.
'Lucca led me to his room, and then just stood in the middle, waiting for me to notice something'.
Her brother Lucca is three and hasn't spoken for over a year.
The doctors think he needs a fresh start, that's why her family left Brooklyn. But their new home feels hauntingly familiar - and when Siena finds an old pen, the story she writes is not her own . . .
Can Siena's discovery of past secrets help break her brother's silence in the present? " (from Goodreads)
A beautifully crafted novel, which may just tickle the heartstrings, Listening for Lucca weaves together a sense of magic and mystery in a calm seaside setting to provide a light, summery read.
Aimed towards the 9+ age range, Listening for Lucca is not a complex read; I was able to simply relax and enjoy the story as it unfolded itself around me, which was a comfortable, refreshing experience - a nice break from the heavier plots I am more accustomed to reading. This is not to say, however, that Listening for Lucca's plot was in any way overly simple in a way that made it boring, rather the storyline held just enough interest and mystery to make this a compellingly readable novel.
Siena is a 13-year-old girl who has trouble fitting in. This is due to a number of oddities about her - her unusual hobby of collecting abandoned things, her 'gift' of inadvertently being able to see into the past, her vivid, vision-like dreams...and her 3-year-old brother who doesn't talk. However, this book tells the story of a fresh start for her as her family move away from the busy lifestyle of Brooklyn to a peaceful seaside town. Here, Siena discovers the story of a family who lived in the same house, which now belongs to her family, during the time of World War II that has strangely similar parallels with her family...
Some more picky readers may be dissatisfied with the ending, saying that some things are not fully explained, and although I understand where this argument is coming from, I personally liked the ending. The thing is, this book has an element of magic to it; therefore I don't believe it is necessary for there to be a completely rational logic to its conclusion. I liked the way the story was tied up; it was kind of the ideal ending - predictable, maybe, but it still gave me that warm, fuzzy, content feeling.
Though not amazing - and this might simply be because I am older than the intended age range - Listening for Lucca is a sweet read that I enjoyed. Due to the fact that it is aimed at readers from the age of 9 upwards, along with the compelling storyline - the perfect balance between realistic and magical - it is easy to read and understand; I found myself flipping very swiftly through the pages. I do in fact have a 9-year-old sister, to whom I think I might give this book (she is as big a bookworm as I am!) and see what she thinks of it!