The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

So Love Returns is based on the folklore of a demon who comes to Earth to take the place of someone who has died. Following the death of his wife, Trina, Lenny struggles to make a living writing children’s books while he cares for his two young children, Trisha and Chris. Trina had been Lenny’s inspiration, and now that she is gone, he fears that he will be unable to write anything worthwhile. Like Jennie Appleton in Robert Nathan’s popular novel Portrait of Jennie (1940), Kathleen appears mysteriously to help the artist, then disappears into the unknown.

One day, as Lenny is working on his book about a sea-witch who lives in a cavern under the ocean, he hears Trisha screaming. Racing out to the beach, he sees Chris lying on the sand. Trisha says that a woman with seaweed in her hair and fins on her feet came out of the sea to save Chris from drowning. The woman, Kathleen, has disappeared, and Lenny is unable to find anyone who knows anything about her. One evening, as he walks alone on the beach, Kathleen appears in a mist, speaks to him briefly, and disappears again, leaving no footprints in the sand.

Kathleen continues to appear unexpectedly and then disappears mysteriously. When Lenny asks where she is from, she says he would not know the place. Kathleen seems to be watching over the family. She appears out of nowhere to help Lenny avoid an accident in his car on a foggy night and arrives to care for Trisha when she...

(The entire section is 480 words.)