By Leslie Pietrzyk
Fifteen-year-old Alice goals of her first kiss, has sleepovers, auditions for Our Town, and attempts to move highschool biology. it is 1975, and at the start glance, her existence would appear to be general and unexceptional. yet on this 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 automobile at the railroad tracks, within the course 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 harassed, Alice absorbs herself in her mom Annette's usual rituals, attempting to recapture their connection -- purely to be shocked via the sound of her mother's voice talking to 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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Extra resources for A Year and a Day: A Novel
I sat on the bed, spread the dress on my lap, then was suddenly afraid to touch it. “Try it on,” Mama urged. I shook my head, but she kept talking: “In the mirror your waist shrinks and your legs get long. You’ll ﬁnd curves you didn’t know were there, swish when you walk. ” I pushed the dress onto the bed, stood up. ” Her voice slowed, sounded far away. ” Aunt Aggy stared at the clothes she had just hung up, smoothed out a plaid skirt. “Only saw him that one time,” she said, and scooped up an armload of clothes, handed them to me.
I shifted the red dress to the other arm. ” Aunt Aggy’s voice shot up a notch. “Don’t talk that way about your mother. That’s not the only reason to leave town, Alice. Look, we were just going on a fun little trip, okay? See some sights. ” She picked up the seagull dress. “Hated this one,” and she slid it off the hanger, dropped it on the ﬂoor. Then she shoved the whole stack from the bed to the ﬂoor, kicked at the crumpled heap with one foot. I clutched the red dress harder. She wasn’t telling me everything.
Nothing. “I’ve never been to Chicago,” I said. Aunt Aggy crossed her arms tight across her chest. ” “Oh, Alice,” she said. ” She came into the room and sat on the bed, pushing aside the dresses so the wire hangers tangled. ” Mama in Chicago. ” “She was gorgeous,” Aunt Aggy said. “The conductor kept coming round to check if we needed anything, but it was Annie he stared at the whole time. She was just seventeen and had never been out of Iowa, and there we were heading to Chicago. I’d never been either, and I was old enough to know better, but I was as giddy as she was.
A Year and a Day: A Novel by Leslie Pietrzyk