By Paula McLain
"It used to be August. For years it was once August . . . . there has been warmth like rainy gauze and a excessive, white sky and tune coming from in all places at once." within the lengthy, scorching Illinois summer season of 1973, insecure, motherless Jamie falls lower than the harmful spell of her older, extra worldly cousin Fawn, who is come to stick with Jamie and her uncle as penance for committing an "unmentionable act." it's a time of awakenings and corruptions, of tragedy and loss, as Jamie slowly discovers the level to which Fawn will use something and someone to extra her personal ends—and acknowledges, possibly too overdue, her personal complicity within the catastrophe that takes form round them.
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Fawn stood next to me the whole time, making suggestions, critiquing when necessary. June might have worked the scissors, but Fawn gave the haircut. When the cut was finished, I didn’t even need to swivel around in my chair to face the mirror. The expression on Fawn’s face said everything: I looked amazing. When we stepped out of the beauty school, it was late afternoon. Bullets of sun ricocheted from the doorknob to the chrome bumper of a Plymouth Stardust in the parking lot to a Fresca can wedged fast in the gutter grate.
But he’d ignored it anyway, or pretended to, and eventually the ringing had stopped. He knew then it was Suzette, of course it was. And though it had been nearly three months since he’d heard from her, some small and mean part of him was glad she couldn’t reach him whenever she wanted, that she had to wait, the way that he’d had to wait and wonder where and how she was. Suzette never called when she was happy. That was one of the many unspoken rules between them. She didn’t want advice unless she asked for it.
He looked as if he’d been shot in the foot with Myron’s BB gun. Patrick never did say good-bye to me. In fact, he never said a word after the day he’d kissed me. Still, I wanted to say something to him. I wasn’t sure what, but something. When I climbed on the bus, I saw he was sitting on the back bench seat with Myron and Leonard Sparks and Joey Carnelle, tough boys who used the time on the bus to chew tobacco. They spit the slimy brown juice right out on the floorboards, and the kids all knew to lift their feet when the bus rolled to a stop, to spare their shoes.
A Ticket to Ride: A Novel by Paula McLain