Home Schooling: Stories

Home Schooling: Stories

Carol Windley

Language: English

Pages: 240

ISBN: 0802144535

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Carol Windley’s mesmerizing collection, Home Schooling, introduced an American audience to a mature, masterful storyteller whose “writing has a unique power, a perfect combination of delicacy, intensity, and fearless imagination” (Alice Munro). Set in the temperate rain forests of Vancouver Island and the vibrant cities of the Pacific Northwest, the stories in Home Schooling uncover the hidden freight of families as they dissolve and reform in new and startling configurations: ghosts appear, the past intrudes and overwhelms the present, familiar terrain takes on a hostile aspect, and happiness often depends on unlikely alliances.




















And there was Arthur Dawsley, a man in his late sixties, a bachelor or perhaps a widower, a man seemingly without family of his own, a volunteer member of the search party, after all, in spite of his age. He was given a clipboard and a pencil and told to keep track of the other volunteers. At the end of the day his shoulders drooped a little with fatigue. He wasn’t much help, really, more of a diversion, chatting to the police officers, reminiscing about a time when it was safe to leave your doors unlocked at night, you could forget your wallet in a public place and pick it up later, the bills still folded inside.

Do you want to try talking to Loren again? ” Alex said. She put the phone against Loren’s ear. Loren pressed her puppet against her mouth and scrunched her face up in concentration. “She loves hearing your voice, but she just isn’t going to say anything, I guess,” Alex said. “She isn’t going to sing, either. Well, who knows? Maybe she’s going to turn out to be a poet. ” She waited, as if Tom were going to be able to pick up on the coded message. Poet, get it? Robin Pritchard? A weekend in Pembrokeshire? “And how are you doing?

This was on a Friday, when Désirée was in fact at Grove’s End packing an overnight bag for the weekend trip to Pembrokeshire with Robin Pritchard. Alex thought: I could tell him where she’s going, what she’s up to. I could say I had no choice but to tell him because I’m concerned about Loren’s well-being. I’m genuinely worried that Loren will find out that her mother behaves like a perfect little slut and that she has no respect for herself or for her marriage, Alex thought, tightening her grip on the telephone receiver and glancing at Mr.

Daddy’s girl,” her daddy called her, but daddy didn’t have much time for her, not really. When Saffi was in her yard she made a game out of watching for Arthur Daisy to leave in his car, which he did sometimes, not every day, and as soon as he was gone she crawled through a gap in the hedge into his backyard. She knelt in the shade, looking out at the things he kept there: a wheelbarrow tipped up against a garden shed, a pile of buckets, a heap of steamy grass clippings buzzing with blue-bottles, a mound of composted dirt he made from dead leaves and egg shells and potato peelings, garbage from his kitchen.

Stop, Marisa,” he cried, and she did stop. He took her hand. She smiled at him. They were friends, she thought. She wanted to tell Logan that she’d lost her mother, too, but in her case the loss was permanent and deep as a well, and she didn’t know how to explain that to herself, never mind to a child. He’d figure it out, of course, just from knowing her, because it was part of her, like the shape of her hands. Early that morning Logan had crawled out of his cot and into bed with Ben and Marisa. He wanted to know: if it was morning here, what time was it in Buenos Aires, where his mommy lived?

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