Kirkus Review 9-06

STARRED REVIEW Gray returns to the story of Hannah and Isaac (Together Apart, 2002) several years later. Now married, they and their young son winter in New Orleans and spend the summer traveling the Mississippi on their small paddleboat, the Oh My. Hannah’s 14-year-old sister, Megan, travels by train from Nebraska to be their helper for the summer. The train trip alone offers adventure, in the form of a slick smooth-talker, a criminal on the lam and a young university student for whom Megan feels an instant attraction. All that is nothing compared to living on the river. Isaac’s badly injured leg forces Megan to plunge right in, learning to chop wood for the boiler, pilot the boat and even to swim. As she meets each challenge, she discovers herself—the one thing she knows she’s good at, “seeing,” proves to be a powerful gift. At times, the coincidences strain credulity, but the tight plot, rich language and lively characters more than compensate for any flaws. (Historical fiction. 10-14)