Study Guide

Out of the Dust Chapter 81

By Karen Hesse

Chapter 81


  • Billie Jo carries deep sadness about giving up the piano.
  • Part of the problem is that even though she's trying to avoid Arley and pretty much anybody affiliated with her past life as a musician, people keep showing up everywhere.
  • She keeps running into Arley and Vera giving music lessons at school, and even Mad Dog—everyone is always nice to her and asks how things are, but Billie Jo seems to be able to tell that they are disappointed with her.
  • Mad Dog seems especially upset that she's quit playing, as he's grown kind of quiet and almost antagonistic around her. Not exactly the way you want your crush behaving toward you.
  • Billie Jo admits that she's tired of being around "quiet men," presumably referring to her father, and that maybe Mad Dog isn't her prince charming after all. Still, she doesn't leave him alone.