A Ticket to Ride: A Novel by Paula McLain

By Paula McLain

"It used to be August. For years it was once August . . . . there has been warmth like rainy gauze and a excessive, white sky and track coming from in all places at once." within the lengthy, scorching Illinois summer time of 1973, insecure, motherless Jamie falls below the damaging spell of her older, extra worldly cousin Fawn, who is come to stick with Jamie and her uncle as penance for committing an "unmentionable act." it's a time of awakenings and corruptions, of tragedy and loss, as Jamie slowly discovers the level to which Fawn will use something and someone to additional her personal ends—and acknowledges, might be too past due, her personal complicity within the catastrophe that takes form round them.

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Still, his face 36 PAULA McLAIN stayed there for a moment, wet, insistent, and then he said something. I hate you? I’ll miss you? His voice was so soggy I couldn’t make the words out. It sounded as if he was talking through wet paper, and then he pulled away and ran home. I didn’t miss Bakersfield exactly, but bits of memory tugged at me, like children not wanting to be forgotten for a moment. Some recollections were eerily available, like the smell of alfalfa, green and malty in early summer. Like jack-rabbits and kissing bugs.

He hated thinking about her going in there to bathe, with only a vinyl shower curtain and a swinging door between her and whatever might want to hurt her. He hated thinking about her in Oxnard at all, sunbathing in the rain, spending her weekends with the good doctor who was telling what to his wife? When he’d gotten in the car, he thought it would be an easy enough trip, just the six hours down and back. He would find her and make sure she was safe. But now he understood that he wasn’t leaving without her, and that she wouldn’t go easily.

He lived alone in the pink stucco bungalow directly across from Raymond’s, and every time we sunbathed, he found something to do in his yard, mowing the lawn in denim shorts that drooped from his garter-snake-narrow frame, ogling Fawn and her bikini conspicuously over his garden hose, fumbling with the sprinkler attachment as if it required an ever-elusive higher order of thinking. Fawn was an extraordinarily pretty girl, long and angular without being skinny. She had strong cheekbones, a nose that turned up at the end, and almond-shaped hazel eyes that gave her a slightly feline appearance.

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