a narrow strip of land projecting from a larger area
Loretta is taking Annabelle through the narrow piece of north Idaho, which sticks up like an index finger. “The
panhandle”—yes, she gets it now.
done by design
She carries a soda can filled with pebbles so the sound will ward off any dangerous creatures. She
willfully ignores the fact that a soda can is nothing against a grizzly.
a small cave, usually with attractive features
She spots flashes of The Taker in the dim
grottos and murky hollows where the bears and the cougars might be.
turned or twisted toward one side
She knew he liked her, but it seemed like he hated her a little right then, too. And then there was the time he stormed out of class after he pronounced “
awry” awe-ree when he read aloud, and everyone laughed.
an unbroken period of time during which you do something
After every sixteen-mile
stint in Idaho, Grandpa Ed is there just as he’s promised, in the location her “team” has scoped out.
an official residence provided by a church for a minister
Malcolm finally told her that if she didn’t get help, he would go and live with That Bastard Father Anthony at the
rectory of Saint Therese’s.
nervous and unable to relax
His new, hip hair says I got this, but his
fretful face gives away the fact that the whole deal is crashing and burning.
abhors a vacuum, an imagination adores one.
a purposeful or industrious undertaking
It is clear that this
endeavor is much more about the head than the body. Well, it’s about the body, too—she’s had to ice her knee every day in the last week, plus take a few anti-inflammatories.
a deep fissure
Fallen into a depression. It sounds like a misstep causing a tumble into a dark and dangerous
crevasse, which is exactly what has happened.
normal or sound powers of mind
She’s lost track of why she is doing this. It’s easy to lose things on the Lonesome Highway. A tire, a life, hope. Your
a foolish and usually extravagant passion or love
This is about perseverance, not about Luke Messenger, who she will likely never see again. In her mind, he’s got a big X over him, as do all boys. As does flirtation and
infatuation and love and sweetness and generosity and openness and belief and trust and safety, basically all the good stuff.
use of physical or mental energy; hard work
Her cheeks are already warm from the heat of
exertion and the April sun, but this is an actual blush.
a heavy rain
deluge. Her hair is soaked.
cause to become
From now until then, she will pretend that there is a big wall between her and them. Words and stuff can pass through it, but the wall
renders every word meaningless.
an uncalled-for burden
So Dawn Celeste and Luke’s generosity now—her
imposition, sleeping in their bed, taking up their time, wearing their clothes (she hasn’t been in a boy’s sweatshirt since Will)—it all dumps a profound distress upon her.
a recurrent rhythmical series
“The spot? The spot where we picked you up?” Dawn Celeste’s voice quickens and her eyes are bright. She is using the same excited
cadence they use when trying to decipher what Bit wants when he sits and stares at them.
a marine polyp that resembles a flower
From that distance, the figure is serpent-y, with wavy
anemones on its top half. It’s a creature, walking out of the sea. It’s a man. A solitary man. Now, she sees that the
anemones are messy curls and the creature is Luke Messenger.
a subdivision of a larger religious group
sect of Hutterites. Super awesome. Similar to the Amish, but they embrace technology,” Malcolm says.
dwell on with satisfaction
“The only one who ever beat me three for three was Sammy Jackson,” Dawn Celeste says. “There was
“He sounds like a sore winner,” Annabelle says.
a long cloak with full sleeves
She’s changed into a
caftan but wears a pair of fuzzy socks on her feet.
lacking in nutritive value
“Red Vines are
insubstantial.” Dawn Celeste bites the head off of a Twizzler.
Dr. Mann’s hands are folded in her lap, and she quietly waits for a response, the
tranquil painting of the mountains behind her seemingly waiting, too.
from appearances alone
Dr. Mann’s hands are folded in her lap, and she quietly waits for a response, the tranquil painting of the mountains behind her
seemingly waiting, too.
become reduced to ashes
But that sorrow and that rage might
incinerate her, same as that storm yesterday, with its lightning bolts speeding through this flat land, looking for the one thing still standing.
Italian salt-cured ham usually sliced paper thin
He lifts the lid of the pan on the stove, and steam escapes, along with the rich, juicy smell of chicken saltimbocca—little jelly rolls of chicken breast stuffed with spinach and
dignified and somber in manner or character
She sees the way those words have
solemn weight...I have to do something. It sounds like a vow. It sounds like a vow every single human should make.
unfavorable to life or growth
It is 1914, in the most
inhospitable place on earth, and there is starvation and exhaustion and desperation, danger and isolation, a horrible sea and unforgiving ice, and a slide down a fog-shrouded mountainside for a last chance at survival.
belonging to the present time
And she is a
contemporary young woman wearing a moisture-wicking sports bra, trekking in the balmy months of May and now mid-June, across North Dakota, then South Dakota, then through the southwest corner of friendly Minnesota.
mild and pleasant
And she is a contemporary young woman wearing a moisture-wicking sports bra, trekking in the
balmy months of May and now mid-June, across North Dakota, then South Dakota, then through the southwest corner of friendly Minnesota.
a hill that rises abruptly from the surrounding region
Number of additional ankle twists on the rocky grounds of North Dakota’s hills and
buttes: four, maybe more.
a school you graduated from
He’s known for eating rice pudding and picking at his cuticles while he talks to you about attending Whitworth, his
remote in manner
She is cold,
aloof, talks about other boys besides Will, exits the parking lot while pushing the accelerator a little too hard.
the rapid and continuous delivery of communication
Annabelle is sure her mother drove her father away with her constant
barrage of opinions, mostly about him.
spread by scattering
Bunches of them are already crushed and
strewn around like weapons after the war.
having a secret or hidden meaning
Texts from The Taker way, way late at night, ones she jokes about the next day, but that feel
cryptic and intimate: Why does it seem like a forest keeps secrets?
marked by close acquaintance, association, or familiarity
Texts from The Taker way, way late at night, ones she jokes about the next day, but that feel cryptic and
intimate: Why does it seem like a forest keeps secrets?
wet spongy ground of decomposing vegetation
It’s a bad week anyway. A bad, bad week, but the shores of Albert Lea Lake are
boggy. Swampy, too. It’s a small, shallow lake, with psychedelic swirls of green algae on top.
having vivid colors and bizarre patterns
It’s a bad week anyway. A bad, bad week, but the shores of Albert Lea Lake are boggy. Swampy, too. It’s a small, shallow lake, with
psychedelic swirls of green algae on top.
give encouragement to
emboldens her to do another thing she hasn’t been able to do—to see what she’s been missing. She peeks. She scrolls back in time on their accounts.