Study Guide

Missing May Chapter 8

By Cynthia Rylant

Chapter 8

  • Aunt May liked bats and was good at gently getting bats out of their trailer when they accidentally flew in. Because of this, Summer was never afraid of bats and didn't even realize that some people are terrified of them.
  • Once they accidentally injured a bat and Aunt May tried to save it, but eventually it died and they had to bury it in the garden.
  • During the week as they prepare for Putnam County, Uncle Ob seems more lively. He's in trip-planning mode and gets up on time every day instead of staying in bed paralyzed by his grief. This is a good sign.
  • When they get to Cletus's house on Saturday, Summer realizes that his parents are lovely and that he hasn't been ashamed of them (like Summer has been assuming). Cletus is greatly loved by his parents, and the thing he's been ashamed of is introducing them to Summer because she is so different from him.
  • Instead of telling the Underwoods about the spiritualist church and why they're heading there on their trip, Uncle Ob just says that he wants to take Summer on a sightseeing trip to help her get over Aunt May's death, and since Cletus is her best friend, it'd be great if he could come too.
  • Smooth, Uncle Ob, very smooth.
  • As Summer looks around their neat, homey little house, she realizes that Cletus has had his parents taking care of him his whole life. That's why he doesn't worry about losing everything—unlike Summer, who's always expecting to lose the ones she loves.
  • For the rest of the day, she and Uncle Ob are happy, and they even start packing for their Putnam County trip.

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