Simple, Yet Poetic
Cynthia Voigt likes to keep things simple (but never stupid).
Her descriptions of characters and places are pretty darn straightforward. At
the mall in Peewauket, for instance, the narrator observes that "the sun
beat down on the parking lot and heated up the air so even in the shaded
walkway Dicey was hot" (1.1.38). Nothing confusing about this, right?
But hidden in this plain language are some bursts of poetic
beauty. In that little excerpt above, we can see the heat as a metaphor for the high-pressure situation Dicey and her siblings suddenly find themselves
in. And later, Voigt can't help but take our breath away when Dicey describes
sailing across the Chesapeake Bay:
here, there was salt on the wind itself that fell on your skin like rain. You
could taste it. Out here the sun heated and the wind cooled, and the waves sang
their constant song." (2.3.74)
Yes, clear, understandable descriptions can tell us a lot,
but these poetic moments let us into Dicey's mind to help us understand and
experience exactly what she's feeling.