By Leslie Pietrzyk
Fifteen-year-old Alice goals of her first kiss, has sleepovers, auditions for Our Town, and attempts to cross highschool biology. it is 1975, and at the start glance, her lifestyles would appear to be basic and unexceptional. yet on the planet that Leslie Pietrzyk paints, each second she chronicles is printed in the course of the kaleidoscope of loss, stained by means of the truth that Alice's mom, unexpectedly, notice, or apology, intentionally parks her vehicle at the railroad tracks, within the direction of an oncoming train.
In the emotional yr that follows, Alice and her older brother locate themselves within the care in their nice aunt, pressured to manage and circulate ahead. Lonely and pressured, Alice absorbs herself in her mom Annette's commonly used rituals, attempting to recapture their connection -- simply to be surprised by means of the sound of her mother's voice chatting with her, enticing Alice in ''conversations'' and supplying a few perception into the lifestyles that she had led, past her position as Alice's mother.
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Additional resources for A Year and a Day: A Novel
Think of the most handsome man you know. When you smile, that’s where you put the blush. ” I didn’t know any handsome men personally, so I thought about James Dean, who Mama liked so much, and I did smile, so I stroked on the blush in upward-V motions. Mama said, “Now across your forehead at the hairline, your nose, your chin. Quick and light,” and I felt as if I was doing the sign of the cross at church. “Now for lipstick,” Mama said, then paused. My heart beat fast. ” I sounded uncertain, like an echo.
I lifted my hair on top of my head. I looked like her, I was in her room, wearing her makeup, her dress. I should know what Mama was thinking; I should at least have an idea. I let my hair loose, shook my head. “Did she, um,”—it was a stupid, obvious question—“fall in love? I mean, on the train? ” Aunt Aggy’s eyes met mine in the mirror. ” Neither of us blinked, and I didn’t know if I should believe her, if she believed herself. “She never talked about him,” I said. In the mirror, Aunt Aggy and I kept looking at each other, like those staring contests kids have.
She pushed me over to the mirror. ” It wasn’t really my mother in the mirror. It was me, same old me, but that dress turned my neck long and elegant, the way Mama’s had been, and my eyes looked more green than brown, and cheekbones cut across my face. I tilted my head to the left the way Mama did, smiled one of her slow, crooked smiles. Aunt Aggy’s face was right behind mine in the mirror, her mouth partially open, her eyes studying my face that was also Mama’s face. What would it be like to think your life turned upside down because you wore this red dress on the train to Chicago?