The Tin Can Tree: A Novel (1st Ballantine Books trade ed)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
In the small town of Larksville, the Pike family is hopelessly out of step with the daily rhythms of life after the tragic, accidental death of six-year-old Janie Rose. Mrs. Pike seldom speaks, blaming herself, while Mr. Pike is forced to come out of his long, comfortable silence. Then there is ten-year-old Simon, who is suddenly without a baby sister -- and without understanding why she's gone.
Those closest to this shattered family must learn to comfort them -- and confront their own private shadows of hidden grief. If time cannot draw them out of the dark, then love may be their only hope....
herself. That’s why she was such a favorite before, Mrs. Pike was; she could talk up a storm.” Missouri was watching her with her mouth open. “Charleen,” she said, when Charleen had finished speaking, “you are just as silly as you look, Charleen. You must think Miss Joan is some kind of a walking newspaper. Do you? She don’t say two words in a day, Joan don’t. Customers would drop off like apples in the fall, and Mrs. Pike would have one more reason not to get a grip on things.” “Silly
of lilac pinned on over her regular dress now, but she was more or less doing it herself. Mrs. Pike just kept smoothing down the already pinned-on patches, running her fingers along the cloth with vague fumbling motions. “There’s only four pieces,” Mrs. Hammond reminded her. “Plus the pocket. Where’s the pocket? You remember that’s one reason we decided on this. You could whip it up in a morning, you said. Do you remember?” In the silence that followed the question Joan set the coffee down by
willowware plate, the funny barbecue house off in the middle of nowhere with pigs chasing each other rapidly in neon lights across the front porch. But after another ten or fifteen minutes, he began to recognize everything. The objects that flashed by were all worn and familiar-looking, as if perhaps without knowing it he had been dreaming of them nightly. Even the new things—the brick ranch houses rising baldly out of fresh red clay, the drive-ins and Dairy Queens—seemed familiar, and he glanced
child so young that my mother and her friends talking over their coffee didn’t worry that I was hearing what they said. A woman told my mother that her friend had just lost a daughter, and that the daughter had been the less favored of two. My mother said, “Oh, yes, it’s always so much harder when it’s the one you love less.” Even as a child—well, especially as a child!—I was fascinated by that. Why wouldn’t it have been harder to lose the one you loved more? I thought about it for years, and The
married straight out of college. She graduated in June of 1958 and married in July. Then had to wait ten years for her first baby, poor woman, but even so she didn’t get a job. How did she fill that time, I wonder? Nandina and I were her entire occupation, once we came along. She built our science projects with us, and our dioramas. She ironed our underwear. She decorated our rooms in little-girl style and little-boy style—rosebuds for Nandina and sports banners for me. Never mind that Nandina