Chapters 13-16

After the death of her parents, a teenage girl struggles with her identity.
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definitions & notes only words
  1. lupine
    any plant of the genus Lupinus
    The grounds at Promise had a little of everything that western Montana is famous for, things that the state tourism board makes sure show up on postcards and in guidebooks: golden-green fields for archery or horseback riding, densely wooded trails dotted with Indian paintbrush and lupine, two streams that, according to Jane, were just aching with trout, and a so-blue-it-looked-fake mountain lake only a mile and a half’s hike away from the main building.
  2. compulsive
    caused by an irrational motive for repetitive actions
    She reached out to put an arm around me and I stepped away from her, pretending that I had a sudden and compulsive interest in looking out the window I’d be looking out all year.
  3. shroud
    cover as if with a burial garment
    One final embrace from Adam shrouded me briefly in a sweet, sticky smell that I struggled for a moment to identify, but only because of my surroundings.
  4. tabloid
    sensationalist journalism
    “The tabloids,” she said, offering nothing else.
  5. glean
    gather, as of natural products
    Not on the night of Jane’s birth, not at all, but later, Jane’s mother would glean from the evening all kinds of Christian significance.
  6. crotchety
    having a difficult and contrary disposition
    ...her dad is crotchety and old and probably has dementia, and so it’s hard for them to resolve anything.
  7. billow
    rise and move, as in waves
    Not until I’m almost right in front of them do I see that it’s Katharine Hepburn Jane’s talking to, but the young Katharine Hepburn, in a man’s suit and tie with all that billowy auburn hair.
  8. precarious
    fraught with danger
    “The iceberg’s tip, as it is drawn in this picture, features many sharp angles and pointy protrusions, and it is looming ahead of the ship in a precarious manner.”
  9. contend
    be engaged in a fight
    Instead, there is only the same struggle with sinful desires and behaviors that we, as God’s children, each must contend with.
  10. ephemera
    something transitory or not of lasting significance
    Sometimes disciples...who were further along in their programs would have partially buried their icebergs beneath the typical kinds of ephemera that show up on teenagers’ walls...
  11. jute
    a plant fiber used in making rope or sacks
    He had skin the color of coppered jute and eyelashes that looked like a glossy magazine ad for mascara, though you couldn’t often see them because of his black, shiny hair, which he let hang over his face until Lydia March would inevitably come at him with a rubber band stretched out between her thumb and pointer finger, saying, “Let’s get it pulled back, Adam. There’s no hiding from God.”
  12. prim
    exaggeratedly proper
    I’d heard people describe someone as “ prim and proper” before, but Lydia was the first person I think I would have used those two words to pin down.
  13. chaste
    morally pure
    She and Rick were also now dating. Very chastely.
  14. amicable
    characterized by friendship and good will
    The rest of the disciples got along pretty much the way that I did: faking progress in one-on-ones, amicable interactions with staff, and burning off steam through a series of sinful, thereby forbidden, thereby secret interactions with each other.
  15. aesthetic
    relating to or dealing with the philosophy of beauty
    “My aesthetic approach requires spontaneity,” Jane said, pocketing that picture and resuming her march forward.
  16. clod
    a compact mass
    And when that crop grew, and was harvested, no man had crumbled a hot clod in his fingers and let the earth sift past his fingertips.
  17. trifle
    consider not very seriously
    “I’ll tell you what: She’s not one to be trifled with.”
  18. enamored
    marked by foolish or unreasoning fondness
    “I’m ever so slightly enamored of her,” Jane said, digging for something else in her backpack, eventually producing a small stack of lunch-size paper bags.
  19. boon
    something that is desirable, favorable, or beneficial
    “It’s a boon for you all that my nature is to be a provider.”
  20. rhetoric
    using language effectively to please or persuade
    “Even if you’re resisting the rhetoric of Lydia. You still sort of disappear here.”
  21. dredge
    search the bottom of a body of water for something valuable
    You’d think that dredging up your past during weekly one-on-ones would do just the opposite and make you feel connected to those experiences, to the background that made you you, but it didn’t.
  22. spiel
    artful or slick talk used to persuade
    Mark, however, was sitting in a spinny desk chair calling big donors and doing the spiel.
  23. elfin
    small and delicate
    That chair he was in that day seemed too big for his elfin features.
  24. proverbial
    widely known and spoken of
    “I think you’re nearing the proverbial breakthrough.”
  25. lichen
    a plant occurring in crusty patches on tree trunks or rocks
    I studied the gray barn wood, toffee and mint green-colored lichen growing on it in places.
  26. quad
    a rectangular area surrounded on all sides by buildings
    The Viking Erin caught me shoving a pack of really nice, twelve-color, fine-tipped, professional-grade markers into the back waistband of my pants, up under my shirt and sweatshirt, at the Montana State University bookstore while we disciples were there, waiting to watch a Campus Crusade Christian rock concert out on the main quad.
  27. pillage
    the act of stealing valuable things from a place
    “Like the Crusades without the good times of murder and pillage,” the buddy said back.
  28. manifestation
    a clear appearance
    But he told Lydia, too, said that they had to put a star next to shoplifting in my file as a “problem area for sin manifestation.”
  29. covet
    wish, long, or crave for
    While both Rick and Lydia did ask me why I felt the need to steal markers when Promise had a couple of bins of art supplies in the study rooms, they accepted my answer of “wanting them for my very own and coveting their expense and quality.”
  30. monotony
    the quality of wearisome constancy and lack of variety
    We were mostly silent, sort of entranced by the monotony of peeling and chopping.
  31. tedious
    so lacking in interest as to cause mental weariness
    “This tedious modesty of yours,” Adam said.
  32. vestibule
    a large entrance or reception room or area
    But I was hoping, just a little, for a single shared moment, maybe in the GOP vestibule, or maybe the coffee hall, a moment when we would be close to each other, just a few feet between us, a moment when we would be looking at each other, face-to-face.
  33. whence
    from what place, source, or cause
    “Because I got in trouble for not stealing some markers,” I said. “For leaving them neatly on the shelf from whence they came.”
  34. vindicated
    freed from any question of guilt
    After she left, I let myself feel a little bit terrible for what I’d said, no matter how true, and then vindicated in my decision, and then terrible, and while I was doing this, I kept on exploring the dollhouse, all those bits and pieces of stuff, just this stuff, glued on all the surfaces.
  35. mantra
    a commonly repeated word or phrase
    The bills were stuck between a page that listed some of the requirements for becoming a Campfire Girls Torch Bearer Craftsman and a page with a poem, I guess it was a poem, or mantra...
Created on April 18, 2018 (updated April 19, 2018)

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