| Quote #4
When I mentioned about Ben asking where my mother was and my saying that she was in Lewiston, but that I didn't want to elaborate, Gram and Gramps looked at each other. Gramps said, "One time my father took off for six months and didn't tell a soul where he was going. When my best friend asked me where my father was, I hauled off and punched him in the jaw. My best friend. I punched him dang in the jaw." (12.7)
Gram and Gramps have a way of giving advice without making it seem like they are giving advice and without sounding all high and mighty. They treat Sal like an equal, and they tell her stories (like this one) that show that they can relate to the way she feels, and that they're not perfect either.
| Quote #5
Mrs. Winterbottom stabbed the brownies with a knife. "Want one?" she asked.
Yeesh. The image of Mrs. Winterbottom stabbing brownies is kind of a violent one. Why do you think she might be stabbing brownies? Maybe it's because Phoebe is a serious pain in the butt. Maybe it's because she feels so far away from the people she loves.
| Quote #6
I could tell that Mrs. Winterbottom was trying to rise above some awful sadness she was feeling, but Prudence couldn't see that. Prudence had her own agenda, just as I had had my own agenda that day my mother wanted me to walk with her. I couldn't see my mother's sadness. (17.22)
Sal really is wise beyond her years. Not only does she recognize that Mrs. Winterbottom is sad (when the rest of the Winterbottom family is totally clueless), she also recognizes that it's not just any sadness: it's "an awful sadness," and it's a lot like her mother's.