Study Guide

Missing May Chapter 5

By Cynthia Rylant

Chapter 5

  • The next time Uncle Ob feels Aunt May's presence, they all trudge out to her garden.
  • He starts talking about all the sweet things Aunt May used to do for him when she was living, and what an awesome wife she was; all the while, Summer is wondering what's going to happen next.
  • She thinks about how it kind of feels like a funeral, and how she and Uncle Ob never got to mourn the way they wanted to—they had all this pesky business to attend to and didn't get to really let their grief wash over them.
  • But even though he's so hopeful, Uncle Ob eventually sighs—Aunt May didn't appear to him in the garden after all. He goes inside and Summer worries aloud that he'll make himself sick.
  • Cletus tells her that she should have some imagination and believe—after all, if she did she could be a writer.
  • Summer just feels lost and sad that she can't be enough for Uncle Ob, that she can't make his life meaningful just by existing.

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