This book reminds me of another one I read a while ago, “The Drowning Girl” by Margaret Leroy. The two books are about a mother concerned about the strange behaviour of their very young children, and the explanation lies on reincarnation.
In this book things come to head for Noah at school. Janey is summoned, and the head teacher hints that Janey is neglecting Noah. Apparently, the boy keeps talking about guns and also about one occasion when his mother pushed his head under the water. Janey then remembers that this is the recurrent nightmare that her son keeps having. The head teacher tells her to find some therapy for Noah, and then after he is better, he can return to school.
For months Janey takes her son to see doctors who don’t tell her much, and one psychiatrist tells her that Noah could be schizophrenic, but it’s too early to tell. He prescribes medication, but Janey is more than reluctant to give her son the pills. Then as she is searching on the Internet, she happens to see a video on youtube. On the video there is Jerry, the man from the beginning of the book. He is a psychiatrist who has devoted his career to study cases that might be explained as reincarnation. Janey sees some resemblance with her son, so she calls him.
Janey is quite unsure about what she is doing. She doesn’t believe in these things. When she and Jerry meet, she is still wary. When Jerry talks to Noah after a nightmare, the boy tells him that his name is Tommy, he has a brother called Charlie, and he was shot by someone called Pauley. He even tells her that he lives in Ashview.
On the Internet Jerry tracks down a family whose son died in a swimming pool. There are many common things with what Noah told Jerry about Tommy. This Tommy has a brother called Charlie, likes baseball and the same baseball team and has a thing for reptiles. Janey is persuaded to go and meet this family. From the first moment, it is clear that this is the wrong family, and Noah has a meltdown when the mother hugs him and keeps crying. When they leave, Janey decides that this is the end and they won’t disturb another family any longer. Yet, it is not easy when Noah keeps reminding her that she promised she would take her to see her mama.
In a chapter we see the family of the boy Noah used to be. The mother is Denise, who used to be a teacher, but now works in an old people’s home. She lives alone with her fifteen-year-old son Charlie, and we get the impression she is separated from her husband Henry. It has been six years that Tommy went missing, and the police investigation didn’t lead to anywhere. Denise is still finding it hard to deal with life, and we get the impression that she struggles with life because of her second son and the hope that Tommy will come back one day.
If Noah is Tommy, we know that Tommy is dead and reincarnated. Jerry didn’t find this family because he was looking for people called Thomas who died in the last ten years, so he couldn’t find the right Tommy, because he is officially missing, and not dead. I am curious to see how Janey and Noah will finally meet Denise, and how this will pan out.