Jeannette Walls has a lot of experience with crazy mothers and in this book she tackles the topic fictionally. When Liz is fifteen and Bean (Jean– aha!) is twelve, their mother ups & leaves. When the “bandersnatchers” (police) turn up at their home, the girls board a Greyhound to the town where their mother grew up. As usual, initially, what the parent hates about the place, the children love.
Monthly Archives: June 2013
So of course the intention is to prove that separateness is an illusion. Van Booy does this by subtly connecting Martin in Los Angeles in 2010 to Sebastien in France in 1968 to John in France in 1944 to Amelia in Amagansett (just to throw in the fact that this is partially set on Long Island) also in 2010 etc. etc. etc.
When Lionel Shriver (I love Lionel Shriver!) calls him “big brother,” she means it in both senses of the phrase (older and obese). Little sister Pandora is surprised and horrified when Edison is wheel-chaired off the plane and in the two months he’s a houseguest, his metamorphosis is like the elephant in the room. (The denouement (jeez, the whole package) justifies my love for the novels of Lionel Shriver!)
Who wouldn’t love a 16 year-old girl who loves a “fainting room,” the room at the top of the stairs where tightly-corseted women would repair immediately to catch their breath before continuing their activities? The 16 year-old girl, Ingrid Slade, is suspended from her boarding school for 6 months, including the summer session she was looking forward to attending. She moves in with the husband & wife who own the house with the fainting room and falls in love with it and with them.