Mateo, a troubled boy of 12, returns to the island where his grandparents live to say a final goodbye to Minerva, a beloved family member who has died. Unhappy to be back in the small town of Palo Verde, a place full of many memories, he struggles to make sense of the abrupt and irreparable loss. When a stray cat mysteriously appears in his grandmother’s backyard, matters get complicated. The book moves back and forth across the years, weaving multiple story lines together into a surprising finish that will leave readers feeling satisfied. Along the way, there is ample comic relief and suspense. In addition to the well-developed human characters that inhabit the little village of Palo Verde, the author skillfully uses magical realism to create memorable characters of animals and trees which become as alive as the humans in the story. The book is further enhanced by the beautiful black and white illustrations. The story would stand on its own as a well told tale, but there is much more to be savored and lessons to be learned as Mateo explores deeper issues of guilt and redemption, betrayal and forgiveness, evil and love.