Evie feels free with people who live with no moral underpinnings as their ignored children run wild. Evie can’t or rather won’t see how dark, filthy and full of downright lies the place is. She’s too drawn to the mesmeric Suzanne. Cline is an excellent chronicler of the ethereal depths of female misery.
A very unpleasant atmosphere is building around Russell as is the scale of rage until thwarted and unrequited emotions explode. Evie was thrust not unwillingly into a world where her understanding and the lack of it and her negative self image allowed her to make irretrievable mistakes. This was excellent but with one error: ‘The Man From UNCLE’ had been cancelled by 1969 and I don’t think it got US repeats until the 1980s.
“Everything tinted with mild decay.”
“A situation so obviously bad.”
“Slight drift of unease.”
“Their shared disgust.”
“This is an awful place.”
“They aren’t nice.”
“Days crumbled away like debris from a cliff face.”
Alice is not ultra-practical and does many a stupid thing. Will her slightly assertive efforts stop the uncertainty around her name? Alice uncovers a tale of warped moral outlooks, adults who react with withering scorn to the truth, dated technology and while this was not a lived, authentic experience it was good. Alice’s mother is useless. To remind us that it is 1997 E-Mail is important. A mall is run through and a charge card is used. As are phone books. There is no 24 hour news.
Computer disks are an important plot. Coke is drunk out of a paper cup. Doom is played. Public phones are used. What is a phone charge number? WTF is Ruby Tuesday’s? What is a credit card phone call? The police are idiots and the baddie is obvious and the wrap-up is quick. This has harsh accusations, false claims and a girl not positioned to respond.
“Dad got bored shifting.”
“We’re not going to make up stories about strange men.”
“My own mother is not on my side.”
“The speaker was disgusted with the concept of trying harder.”
“They were watching General Hospital, which was impossible at this hour. Must be a tape and a VCR.”
“But moochers (and liars) probably did not have the right to adjust volume.”
“She must give them nothing to notice.”
“For a minute this seemed rational.”
“But this looked demented.”
“She must do something intelligent.”
“An apartment complex designed for people whose marriages died -”
“An unpopular, unsuccessful, low-end model.”