Study Guide

One Crazy Summer Chapter 4

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Chapter 4

Green Stucco House

  • Delphine remembers another of Big Ma's descriptions of Cecile: that she lives on the street, and a park bench is her home.
  • Specifically, Delphine remembers hearing this when she was six years old and wondering why her mother would rather live on a bench than at home with her.
  • Delphine eventually learned that Big Ma's words were not to be taken literally, but she still expected that Cecile was in dire straights.
  • That's why the girls are so surprised when they arrive at Cecile's big green stucco house. It isn't huge, and it certainly isn't opulent, but it's definitely worlds above a park bench.
  • When they go in the house, Cecile points them in the direction of their room and then pretty clearly wants to be done with them. It's a bit cold if you ask us, and the girls certainly feel this, too.
  • Delphine goes through a mental checklist all the new facts she knows about her mother—secret agent disguise, pencils in her hair (did we mention those?), prickly stucco house, cryptic dialogue, weird fake name (Zilla?) and generally defying all expectations her daughters have of her—and determines Cecile is crazy.
  • The girls head to their room, pick beds, and then talk amongst themselves about their mother.

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