Study Guide

Out of the Dust Chapter 73

By Karen Hesse

Chapter 73

Night School

  • Billie Jo's father makes a surprising decision: he's going to night school so he has education to fall back on if the farm doesn't work out. She tells him that as long as they get decent rain, the farm isn't going to fail—she realizes that he's starting to sound like Ma, and she's starting to sound like him.
  • Since the class is mostly ladies, though, she questions his true motivations in enrolling in school. Does he really want an education? Or does he just want to meet the future Mrs. Kelby? The ladies are certainly lining up to bring dinner to class.
  • Billie Jo has mixed feelings about the class. On one hand, it's a meal she doesn't have to cook and it's nice for her hands to get a night off—but on the other, she doesn't like the idea of him spending time with all those women.
  • We aren't totally sure why. Maybe it's because so much has changed already and she is afraid of letting someone else into their life.