Annette Ryland (adoringly called “Nette” by the children at Molly’s Daycare), left her home in Louisiana and headed west. She had no particular destination in mind; her objective, to find out what she was made of after her father, the person she hero-worshiped her whole life, passed away. She took Phoebe with her…the one and only puppy that her father’s dog, Coco gave birth to only days after he died. A strange thing happened along the way when she stopped at a Pueblo Indian cave dwelling tourist site, and numerous times thereafter once she settled in San Diego; unexplainable things that could only be attributed to Phoebe, although she didn’t want to believe it. And she feared the attention Phoebe’s “talent” might bring.
Phoebe allows Elizabeth into her mystical world during a magic show at Molly’s. “Lizzy” has just moved into the neighborhood and is in desperate need of a friend because her mother was a dysfunctional drug addicted alcoholic mess before she died and her father, Dr. Anthony Harding took over the parenting of herself and her sister Nicky and moved them to San Diego. A friendship forms, although a rocky one, between Tony and Nette.
“Tony” is approached by a newspaper reporter, Sally Samuels, who wants his help in her effort to expose a plot by a secret government operation called The Group that she believes is attempting to control people’s minds through an enhancement program that is projected through the internet. Her brother-in-law is Tony’s boss and “Rick” warns him to have nothing to do with her. Tony is confused by her requests, and then wonders if he is seeing evidence of The Group’s enhancement project when friends start having serious symptoms.
Sally had dismissed the claims of a homeless man named Lee who approached her about the large number of street people that were disappearing, only to be returned (if they returned at all) with severe mental impairments. But when her husband, who is a prominent district attorney with sights set on the Mayor’s office, suddenly expands his political goals after The Group starts supporting him and, at the same time, goes through a total personality change, she thinks Lee might be onto something. The Group charges two of its own to devise a plan to spy on her, to see who might be helping, her and to eliminate the problem once and for all.
Find out how the effect Phoebe is having on the character’s lives brings everyone together to counter the seriousness of The Group’s effects.
“Do You Believe In Magic?” will appeal to the Young Adult genre as it contains children and teenage characters. There are senior characters as well, since Annette doesn’t exactly care for people her own age that seem to be too busy trying to impress and make their mark on the world. The two extremes seem to enjoy life for what it is and that’s kind of what she likes too. And of course Phoebe, along with her magic, is completely appealing to both.