Chapters 23–34

After suffering a trauma, high school student Annabelle Agnelli decides to run 2,700 miles from Seattle to Washington, DC.
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definitions & notes only words
  1. nonconformity
    failure to follow accepted standards of behavior
    She proofreads The Taker’s personal expression essay. It’s based on the concepts of Emerson’s “Self-Reliance,” and it’s about how The Taker cured his loneliness at his old school through nonconformity and inconsistency.
  2. inconsistency
    the quality of lacking a harmonious uniformity among parts
    She proofreads The Taker’s personal expression essay. It’s based on the concepts of Emerson’s “Self-Reliance,” and it’s about how The Taker cured his loneliness at his old school through nonconformity and inconsistency.
  3. inertia
    a disposition to remain inactive
    She is stuck in the middle, and middles are always a swamp of inertia, sucking downward.
  4. specter
    a ghostly appearing figure
    She was naive. She was a child.
    Now, she is a specter in running clothes.
  5. intrigue
    cause to be interested or curious
    There’s a dark little kernel that wants him to want her even if she doesn’t know entirely how she feels about him. He still intrigues her.
  6. girder
    a beam used as a main support in a structure
    Her bones are steel girders, anchored in cement.
  7. somber
    grave or even gloomy in character
    Bambino’s is where many of the town’s big events, both somber and celebratory, are marked.
  8. cardigan
    a knitted sweater that can be fastened up the front
    She’s wearing jeans and a serious brown cardigan with a white shirt underneath, the tips of the collar fanned out like crisp paper airplanes heading opposite directions.
  9. emblazon
    decorate, adorn, or inscribe with a design
    It’s right near the water tower, which is emblazoned with the word WARREN.
  10. venue
    the scene of any event or action
    Next, she’s beside a long, flat building. It’s a music venue of some kind, a place where bands come, and—
  11. intrusive
    tending to enter uninvited
    This is also what he’s done: given her a life sentence, these memories, these intrusive thoughts, these nightmares.
  12. intermittent
    stopping and starting at irregular intervals
    In intermittent beats she can see the stage, and the singer with his narrow hips and long hair.
  13. chivalrous
    attentive and honorable like an ideal knight
    He’s back, carrying two bottles of cold water. It seems chivalrous. He cracks the top for her and hands it over. She drinks gratefully.
  14. mobilize
    make ready for action or use
    The road is working its magic. The miles are. Distance is. People are. She’s healing.
    She’s mobilizing.
  15. brood
    think moodily or anxiously about something
    “Oh, wow. I thought the brooding and the staring and the bursts of energy were from being cooped up with me in the stupid RV.”
  16. fluster
    cause to be nervous or upset
    He comes by Essential Baking Company when she’s working and orders coffee. It flusters her.
  17. patent
    a document granting an inventor sole rights to an invention
    He used to teach at the university, too, but then his family sold some patent or something, for some kind of waterproof material, and he got rich and quit.
  18. buoyant
    characterized by liveliness and lightheartedness
    “How’ve you been, Will?” Gina says. She beams at him. Annabelle can feel the wink of support she would love to give. The mood in the room lifts. They all feel happy. Or maybe Annabelle is just buoyant enough for everyone.
  19. convey
    serve as a means for expressing something
    Love is corny, when you get right down to it. It has two left feet. It trips over itself, because it is so large that it’s awkward. It’s sort of silly, done right. After all, how do you convey something that huge?
  20. croon
    sing softly
    The street is packed. A baby cries; there is cheerful crooning.
  21. wistfully
    in a pensively sad manner
    “Time marches on,” Gina says wistfully.
  22. punctuate
    stress or single out as important
    It is a fast and festive song, with a repeated line that’s almost shouted: O, bella, ciao! Bella, ciao! Bella, ciao, ciao, ciao! Each ciao is punctuated with a hearty tambourine hit.
  23. fascist
    an adherent of right-wing authoritarian views
    The song is about Italy’s freedom from invading Nazi fascists.
  24. aristocrat
    a member of the nobility
    In 1651, a freak accident leaves the son of an English aristocrat with a gaping hole in his chest. This allows people actually to look inside his chest to observe the heart, and to even reach in and touch it.
  25. parcel
    an extended area of land
    Finally, she drops down into a valley where there are houses on large parcels of land.
  26. gamely
    in a plucky or sporting manner
    Malcolm is gamely hanging in there, though he clearly hates to stand at home plate as the ball whizzes toward him.
  27. deplete
    use up, as resources or materials
    Right now, her head starts to throb in the way that she knows means dehydration. She is breaking down and depleted and her mind is too full and she just can’t go on.
  28. reverberate
    ring or echo with sound
    There are a lot of people out there. Way, way more than the small groups of students Annabelle’s spoken to before now. Ilene is introducing her. It’s strange to hear her own name reverberating in the auditorium.
  29. articulate
    express or state clearly
    She’s had a long time to think about what she wants to say, but it’s still hard to articulate.
  30. vindictive
    disposed to seek revenge or intended for revenge
    “I knew him, of course. I knew him pretty well. Sometimes he was funny and sweet, but he was also depressed and moody and vindictive...."
  31. gauzy
    so thin as to transmit light
    One old woman, in a gauzy sundress, sits in a camp chair next to one young one, in a sundress splashed with sunflowers.
  32. haggard
    showing the wearing effects of overwork or care or suffering
    “You know how at the end of the book, they finally come across that whaler? I keep thinking of him, the whaler, how he breaks down and cries when he realizes that the haggard man in front of him is the great Ernest Shackleton, who’s made it after all.”
  33. passive
    lacking in energy or will
    He looks at her, and she looks at him, and she knows what is about to happen. About to happen? No. She is not a passive participant, being acted upon. She is choosing, setting in motion.
  34. extremity
    that part of a limb that is farthest from the torso
    Her feet go forward and her heart ba-bamps even as the Antarctic wind kicks up. She walks hard across the glacier and her extremities freeze.
  35. gouge
    an impression in a surface, as made by a blow
    “Look right there. You can tell where the lightning has hit.” Luke points.
    She sees it. There’s a distinct black gouge, the mark of a terrible moment in its life.
Created on February 26, 2020 (updated March 19, 2020)

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