66 pages • 2 hours readAshley Flowers
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Chapter Summaries & Analyses
The narrative opens by explaining that the residents of Wakarusa, Indiana, can “spin gossip faster than a spider spins its web” (3). Painting a picture of a town devoted to its robust gossip mill, Krissy Jacobs does everything she can to avoid becoming its next victim. Krissy goes to church, dresses her son and daughter in the appropriately gendered clothing of the time, and keeps up appearances. She does this not because she cares about it, but because she knows that the life she has now is better than anything she had before, even if her life “[isn’t] what she wanted, [isn’t] even close” (4).
The story really begins on the worst morning of Krissy’s life, waking to her daily alarm at five o’clock like she does every day to begin the chores that come along with being a farmer’s wife. She gets out of bed so as not to disturb her sleeping husband, Billy, who should also be waking up, and goes downstairs.
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Before Krissy even enters the kitchen, spray-painted words scrawled on her kitchen walls stop her in her tracks. Written in blood-red lettering are three phrases: “F*CK YOUR FAMILY…THAT BITCH IS GONE…THIS IS WHAT YOU GET” (4).