The Only Girl in the Car
Bookworm and dreamer, Kathy was a young girl with a tender heart, an adventurer’s spirit, and a child’s terrible confusion about her proper place in the world. As the oldest daughter in a family of six children, she seemed trapped in her role as Big Sister and Mommy’s Helper. Then, one day, teetering on the brink of adolescence, hormones surging, she heard someone call her “cheesecake,” and suddenly saw her path.
“Cheesecake, jailbait, sex kitten”--the very words seemed to be “doors opening” to a splendid new self. But from the moment she decides to lose her virginity and reels in her prey, a “full-grown man,” fourteen-year-old Kathy is headed for trouble. One cold, raw March night some months later, parked in a car with four boys on the outskirts of her small suburban town, she finds it.
Though she could never have foreseen the outcome of that night, the “boys in the car could just as well have been Gypsies foretelling my future,” she writes. Girls who break the rules in small towns like the one she lived in are expected to pay a very high price for their transgressions--and she did.
And yet...this young girl, as scrappy a protagonist as any in our literature, manages to transform her fate. The story of how she came to be in that car, and how she stepped out of it forever altered, to be sure, yet not forever damaged, is the theme of this extraordinary coming-of-age tale.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Only Girl in the Car|
|Release Date: 09-29-2010|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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The Only Girl in the Car
Chapter OneA House for Children
Let me show you the house of my childhood, a gray house, oyster gray with white trim, sitting on the intersection of Treadwell and Clifford streets in Hamden, Connecticut, neither grand nor mean, just a solid-looking house with a small backyard, a one-car garage with an orange basketball hoop set above the doors, and tiger lilies languid along the driveway. In the backyard, there's a red-and-green jungle gym and swing set that my parents bought at Sears and my father put together himself, kneeling down in the grass in his shirtsleeves, the instructions spread out in front of him, holding a metal rod in each hand, sweat pouring from his brow.
The front yard is moon-shaped and open to the street, giving it a wild and friendly feeling like you might get running down a hill or holding your arms out to someone else running down. On the right side of the house, there's a sunporch with a red-and-green striped awning, a fence and a privet hedge. Between the fence and the hedge, a dirt path has been worn through by my brothers, sisters and me, a shortcut, a children's way to go. The adults must plod up the driveway. There, our blue station wagon is parked under the basketball net.
A white picket fence runs between our house and the house of the family next door, the Wrights, who have a girl named Terry who is my age-eight on the day I'm picturing-and a tomboy. Terry takes trumpet lessons and so does my older brother Bill, and sometimes they take their trumpets and play out of the attic windows to each other, leaning out over the driveway below.
Terry also takes dance classes with me at Miss Marie's Dance Studio on Whitney Avenue. I...