Excerpt from page 152-153
During that week Mother was very quiet and she looked tired and unhappy. Carter told me that the days I went down to Luisa's after school Mother went out in the afternoon; but the days I came back from school to the apartment with Luisa she was always there waiting for us with hot chocolate and little cakes, and Jacques did not come. But I still had that dead feeling in my heart when I thought about her and when I was with her. My father was very gentle with her, and twice I saw him go up to her and put his arms around her. Oh, Father, I thought. Oh, Father. And I wanted always to keep him from knowing that Mother had talked to Jacques on the telephone.

It's a funny thing how it takes your emotions much longer than your intellect to realize it when some big change happens in your life. My feeling this new numb way about my parents was the biggest change that had ever happened to me and I couldn't get used to it. All that week I'd wake up in the morning and know that something was wrong and my mind had to tell my heart that it was because my mother had talked to Jacques on the phone, because my parents were Rose and Rafferty Dickinson instead of just Mother and Father. Then my heart would try to adjust itself to unhappiness, but still it didn't realize why it was unhappy and it instinctively turned to Mother for comfort, and then my mind would say, "No, you mustn't do that anymore." And gradually my heart began to know what my mind had been telling it every day: that everything was changed, that nothing could ever be the same again.

Camilla © 2009 by Madeleine L’Engle. Used with the permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux .

Beach read This book is one of the 25 Books of Summer
Get the list


Next Story