One of the novel’s central ideas is that everyone has a “savvy,” a special, unique power.While the Beaumonts may appear abnormal and different, their savvies are just more noticeable than most—any difference between the Beaumonts and other people is a difference of degree, not of essence.Mibs’s mother always tells her that the Beaumonts are just like other people: “we get born, and sometime later we die.”In between, the Beaumonts are “happy” and “sad,” feel “love and “fear,” “eat” and “sleep” and “hurt,” just “like everyone else.”And just like the Beaumonts, other people have powers that can sometimes be miraculous.Samson, Mibs’s brother who is too young to have developed a savvy, has the ability to comfort a person simply through his touch.Mibs thinks this ability might be “an ordinary sort of human magic,” the magic created when one person cares sincerely for another.Later, when Lill comes along and enchants them all—especially Lester—with her warm, welcoming manner, Mibs thinks she might be “an angel sent to look after us.”Of course, Lill is not really an angel—but her ability to transform Lester with her love certainly seems miraculous.Even Lester has his own savvy, managing to sweep Lill off her feet first by rescuing her after her car breaks down, and then by defending her from her cruel boss.As Mibs says, Lester might not look like a hero, but “you never can tell...who might have a piece of Prince Charming deep down inside.”

The greatest proof that “savvies” are universal and very human occurs near the novel’s conclusion.When Mibs finally reaches her father, she discovers she can use neither the savvy she hoped she possessed—the ability to wake things up—nor the supernatural savvy she does possess—the ability to hear thoughts.Unable to hear her father's thoughts, Mibs has to rely on her ordinary, human power to connect with her father and express her love for him.Furthermore, she forces her father to recognize his own savvy, the fact that he never gives up.Thus, with...

(The entire section is 854 words.)