A travelling salesman with a Talent for tying knots. "The Owner," a man with no discernible Talent of his own, other than perhaps floating a few inches above the ground. Miss Mallory, who has a Talent for matching orphans with new families. And Cadence,
If you peeked in the window of the orphanage you would see her,
"Cadence, that was her name.
She was standing there now, Cady, deciding what to add to her bowl of batter. If you squinted through the window, you could just make her out from the chin up (Cady was barely a wisp of a thing). You'd see the shiny, crow-black hair that hung smooth as paper from the top of her head to the bottom of her earlobes. And you'd see the petite - pixieish, Miss Mallory called them - features of her face. Tiny nose, tiny mouth, tiny ears. Cady's eyes, however, those were large in comparison to the rest of her. Large and dark and round, and set just so on a face the color of a leaf that has clung too long to its tree."
Cady has a Talent for baking the perfect cake.
A chance encounter in a long ago bus station, a powder blue suitcase, a boy with a Talent for getting lost - these and hundreds of other threads are tangled together, and slowly unravel to reveal a mystery of love and longing and desire and family. A wonderful book!
If you read no other middle grade fiction book this year, you will have made a good choice.