Study Guide

Walk Two Moons Love

By Sharon Creech

Love

My father put his arms around her and they smooched and it was all tremendously romantic, and I started to turn away, but my mother caught my arm. She pulled me to her and said to me – though it was meant for my father, I think – "See? I'm almost as good as your father!" She said it in a shy way, laughing a little. I felt betrayed, but I didn't know why. (6.32)

Why does Sal's mother say this at this moment? Why does she catch Sal by the arm? Do Sal's parents remind you at all of the Finneys right here? Is there something darker going on?

Did he actually <em>kiss</em> my collarbone? And if he did, why did he do that? Was the kiss supposed to land somewhere else, like on my mouth, for example? That was a chilling thought. Had I imagined it? Maybe he merely brushed against me as he was rolling off the bed. (9.19)

Sal and Ben. Sittin' in a tree. K-i-s-s-i-n-g. Kissing is really tricky and awkward at first for Sal and Ben, but that doesn't stop either of them from trying. A lot.

I had an odd sensation, as if a little creature was crawling up my spine. It wasn't a horrible sensation, more light and tickly. I thought maybe he dropped something down my shirt. "Let <em>go</em>!" I said, and finally he did. (11.29)

Sal's whole entire body reacts and responds whenever she's around Ben Finney. Her senses get super sharp, which makes for some fun descriptions.

And when I told Gram and Gramps about flinching when Ben touched me and about how I went home and found Dad in the garage, Gram unbuckled her seat belt, turned all the way around and leaned over the back of her seat. She took my hand and kissed it. Gramps said, "Give her one for me, too," and so Gram kissed my hand again. (12.10)

Why does Gram kiss Sal's hand when Sal tells them about her flinching? What does it mean that Sal flinches whenever someone tries to touch her? Could this have something to do with her mother, and the way Sal's life has changed?

Later, when I went to see Gram, she was all tucked up in bed, pale and sleepy. Next to her on the narrow bed, Gramps was lying on top of the covers, stroking her hair. A nurse came in and made him get off the bed. He had, by now, put his pants on, but he looked a wreck. (15.44)

Gram and Gramps are so in love. They've been married for so long, and they are each other's best friends. Even if Sal's mom and dad didn't get to spend the rest of their lives together, it must give Sal comfort to see an example of a great love and romance in her grandparents.

He looked away and then said, "I like your hair."

"I was thinking of cutting it."

"Don't." (15.38-40)

Is Tom Fleet flirting with Sal Hiddle? And why does Sal tell him that she's thinking of cutting it? She told us she loves her long hair. Also, it's worth noting that both Ben <em>and</em> Tom compliment Sal's hair. It must be pretty darn nice.

"Just okay?" Mrs. Winterbottom suddenly leaned over and kissed Phoebe's cheek.

"I'm not a baby, you know," Phoebe said, wiping off the kiss. (17.8-9)

Oh geez, Phoebe, why do you have to be such a pain in the butt? Mrs. Winterbottom doesn't make huge demands of her family. In fact, it seems like all she wants to do is love them and talk to them. They don't even let her do this. Why do you think that is?

I thought she might change her mind, or at least tell me when she was leaving. But she did neither of those things. She left me a letter which explained that if she said good-bye, it would be too terribly painful and it would sound too permanent. She wanted me to know that she would think of me every minute and that she would be back before the tulips bloomed. (18.17)

At this moment, we realize that Sal's mom had intended to come home all along. She only intended to leave home temporarily. But why is it easier for Sal's mom to tell her this in a letter rather than in person?

He took my hand and stared at it for the longest time. His own hand was soft and warm. Mine was sweating like crazy. He was saying, "Hm" and tracing the lines of my palm with his finger. It gave me the shivers, but not in an entirely unpleasant way. The sun was beating down on us, and I thought it might be nice to stay there forever with him just running his finger along my palm like that. (20.17)

Oooooh! Sal's in love. Or maybe she's not in love, but she sure does like Ben Finney. It's funny how she doesn't admit to us that she likes him, but she describes everything that she is feeling in her body. So we know exactly how she feels about the guy.

"The good news is that you let me hold your hand for almost five minutes and you didn't flinch once." (20.19)

Ben Finney is so sneaky and romantic. He teaches Sal how not to flinch when someone tries to touch her. This is a pretty awesome lesson, and he's a very good teacher. Ben seems really different from other thirteen-year-old boys we know. He seems older and wiser, kind of like how Sal is more mature than most thirteen-year-old girls. Perfect match.

I took a quick look at him and turned back to the door, but in that instant that I was turning my head, he leaned forward, and I do believe his lips kissed my ear. I was not sure this was what he intended. In fact I was not sure it happened at all, because before I knew it, he had hopped down the steps and was walking away. (20.21)

Another near-miss kiss! Time seems to speed up whenever Sal is around Ben Finney. We like that Ben is so persistent and keeps trying to land a successful kiss on Sal, even if his aim could use some work.

"Sometimes you know in your heart you love someone, but you have to go away before your head can figure it out." (24.4)

Once again, Gramps and Gram are the masters of giving advice without making it seem like they are giving advice. Here, Gram is telling Sam about the time she almost left Gramps for the egg man. In telling Sal about why she left Gramps, she's also helping Sal understand why her own mother might have left her.

I don't know what came over me, but I almost reached up and touched his face. My heart was thumping so loudly that I thought he would be able to hear it. (26.26)

Sal is getting brave when it comes to love! Not only has she stopped flinching whenever someone tries to touch her, she's starting to get more courageous about reaching out to other people.

From the back window, I watched Mrs. Finney climb a ladder placed against the garage. On the roof, she took off her jacket and spread it out. A few minutes later, Mr. Finney came around the back of the house and climbed up the ladder. He lay down on the roof and put his arm around her. He kissed her. (26.26)

Mr. and Mrs. Finney are so in love. Through them we get to understand what Sal's mom and dad would be like if they were still together. Both the Finneys and the Hiddles have great romances.

Kissing was thumpingly complicated. (31.6)

Agreed.

"Sonny, I've been by her side for fifty-one years, except for three days when she left me for the egg man. I'm holding on to her hand, see? If you want me to let go, you'll have to chop my hand off." (41.3)

Gramps is determined in the face of possibly losing the love of his life. Here, we really get to see just how much he loves Gram and the fact that he'll always be by her side.

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