About The Book A summer romance headed for heartbreak turns into a mother-daughter road trip in the name of true love in this story of love, loss, and redemption from Printz Honor medal winner and National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti. In an effort to keep Ruby occupied and mend her own broken heart, her mother, Ann, drags Ruby to the weekly book club she runs for seniors. And when the group discovers one of their own members is the subject of the tragic love story they are reading, Ann and Ruby ditch their respective obsessions to spearhead a reunion between the long-ago lovers. This lyrical, multigenerational story of love, loss, and redemption speaks to everyone who has ever been in love—and lived to tell the tale.
|Published (Last):||19 June 2009|
|PDF File Size:||7.54 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||18.88 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
About The Book A summer romance headed for heartbreak turns into a mother-daughter road trip in the name of true love in this story of love, loss, and redemption from Printz Honor medal winner and National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti.
In an effort to keep Ruby occupied and mend her own broken heart, her mother, Ann, drags Ruby to the weekly book club she runs for seniors. And when the group discovers one of their own members is the subject of the tragic love story they are reading, Ann and Ruby ditch their respective obsessions to spearhead a reunion between the long-ago lovers.
This lyrical, multigenerational story of love, loss, and redemption speaks to everyone who has ever been in love—and lived to tell the tale.
Excerpt Chapter One The first thing I learned about Travis Becker was that he parked his motorcycle on the front lawn. You could see the tracks of it all the way up that rolling hill, cutting deeply into the beautiful, golf course-like grass. That should have told me all I needed to know, right there. What happened the summer of my junior year was not about recklessness. It was about the way a moment, a single moment, could change things and make you decide to try to be someone different. Charles Whitney -- he too made a decision like that, way back on August 14, , just as he ground a cigarette into the street with the toe of his shoe, and so did my mother when she decided that we had to steal Lillian.
Shy is the usual word. I even heard someone say it a few years ago, as I sat in a bathroom stall. I think it was Wendy Craig, whose ankles I had just whacked with too much pleasure during floor hockey.
And then came the answer: "Oh, is she That Quiet Girl? She is probably right that personality plays a part. I sometimes feel less hardy and cut out for the world than the people around me, too sensitive, the kind of person whose heart goes out to inanimate objects -- the sock without a partner, a field of snow interrupted by footprints, the lone berry on a branch. But it is also true that humiliating experiences can wither your confidence sure as salt on a slug. I was reasonably outgoing in the fifth grade, before I slipped on some glossy advertising circulars in our garage, broke my tailbone, and had to bring an inflatable doughnut to sit on at school.
Before this I would actually raise my hand, stand at the front of a line, not be afraid to be noticed. My stomach seizes up into knots of humiliation just remembering that doughnut. It looks like a toilet seat, Brian Holmes cracked, and the above mentioned Wendy Craig laughed.
And he was right; it did -- like those puffy ones that you see in tacky, overdecorated bathrooms. I had begun to put it all behind me, pardon the pun. Then it happened again: humiliating experience, part two. Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water. This time it was my own fault. At home, peeling the paper strips and sticking the pads in my shirt had seemed ingenious.
Why had no one thought of this before? But as soon as I started to speak, I could feel the right one loosen and slip with every small gesture. I tried to keep my arm clutched tight to my side, soldierlike. Finally, I had no choice but to flip the page of my board, and down the minipad shot like a toboggan on an icy slope, landing on the floor in white, feminine-hygiene victory.
The crowds roared. So I became quiet. This seemed the safe thing to do when embarrassments hunted me like a stalker hunts a former lover. Again my mother tried her wisdom on me -- Laugh it off, she said. Everyone else is too busy trying to forget their own humiliations to remember yours. Why do you think that years later we still have dreams that we went to school and forgot to get dressed? And again, this might be true.
Last winter, Sarah made a wild pass of her basketball and whacked Ms. One minute there was Ms. Thronson, her shoulders as big as the back of a dump truck, blowing her whistle -- Threeep! And the next minute, bam, she was down on her knees as if praying for forgiveness for making us do that unit on wrestling.
But maybe, just maybe, when it is my turn to read aloud in English class because reading aloud means that Mrs. Forrester can grade papers rather than really teach , you also notice that my voice is clearer and stronger than you thought it would be. Forrester puts down her red pen and pauses with her coffee cup halfway to her lips, her eyebrows knitted slightly in a look of the softest concentration.
More than the glimpse of my coat flying out behind me as I escape out the school doors toward home. Old Anna Bee, one of the Casserole Queens, told me the same thing once, that there was more to me. She took one finger, knobby from years of gardening, and tapped my temple, looking me long in the eyes when she said it so that I would be sure to take in her meaning. I liked the way it sounded -- as if I lead a life of passion and adventure, the stuff of a good book of fiction, just no one knows it.
It sounded like I have secret depths. And I guess for one summer, just one summer, maybe it was true. I did have passion and adventure in my life, the stuff of the books at the Nine Mile Falls Library where my mother works. Summer, after all, is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people. You can be graceful and easy, with no eyes on you, and no past. Summer just opens the door and lets you out. I had walked home by myself that day, instead of with my friend Sydney, as I usually do.
Sydney has lived next door to me forever; we both have movies of us when we were babies, sitting in one of those blow-up wading pools, screaming our heads off. They look like the kind you see at the community pool on the old ladies recovering from heart surgery. The old ladies, by the way, only require heart surgery after seeing what girls wear to the beach these days," my mother said.
Caletti often cites her love for writing and reading stemming back to her early childhood. Rich was a bona fide Bay Area hippie…We also did a lot of creative writing in his class. His remarks on my stories…were the sort of encouragement that could make you feel that maybe, possibly, you were on to something with the whole writing thing. Far OUT! If anyone knows where Rich Campe is, please let me know so that I can heartily and sincerely thank him. Caletti was a longtime resident of Issaquah, Washington , where she set many of her books as the fictional town of " Nine Mile Falls. Though she had studied journalism at the University of Washington, receiving some recognition for playwriting, Caletti feared that a career in creative writing would be too difficult.
Honey, Baby, Sweetheart Quotes