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Ducks, Newburyport
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Week 4, Day 4 - loc 16481, p998UK/p988US (ish)

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Angel Belsey (angelbelsey) | 119 comments Mod
Reading to THE END.

Angel Belsey (angelbelsey) | 119 comments Mod
Obviously I couldn't stop reading today, so now I'm posting the last full section a day ahead (or 6 days behind, however you look at it).

We are starting today, unusually, with the lioness, now at the zoo. She has been put in an enclosure next to her babies, but they cannot touch. Nevertheless, she is delighted to see them, and enjoys watching them. Eventually the zookeepers let them reunite, and it is absolute bliss for everyone: the lioness, the babies, and us, the readers. What a pleasure.

We’re back with Narrator, and she is alive, thank goodness. (In a minor parallel to the lioness story, an eaglet has been rescued and successfully returned to its parents too.)

Birds, she says, considering how scared they are of everything, are actually pretty brave. I think this is true of Narrator too, and the rest of this story proves it.

That douchebag Ronny came in and accused her in front of her kids of leading him on, when all she had ever done was try to get rid of him. It turns out he had been spying on them for ages, too. He said he was pissed off that she never invited her in, and then he had the nerve to come in and start eating her COOKIE DOUGH with her SWORDIE and then SHOT HER KITCHEN TIMER, and I have never wanted to punch someone fictional quite this bad in my life.

Of course he says he’s a Nice Guy. Yeah, they all are, Ronny. He then shoots up Narrator's house, but then Stacy saves the day, what a mensch, a human being. I’m delighted to find out that she learned a LOT from that self-defense book, and I’m getting some Revere Ware, stat.

Wait, was this whole book a Revere Ware advertisement?

It turns out the kids knew that Jim was with the Cherokee tracker, and they had been trying to keep that news from Narrator! And all of the neighbors and vendors are being so kind to the family. And Stacy gets to menace Willy, too, and Leo has even booked tickets to go to see the eclipse at the Elephant Sanctuary, and they’re letting Gillian do the Indian Mud Run, and Stacy is getting to see the lioness at the zoo, so it’s a happy ending all around . . .

. . . kind of. Oh Narrator, you’ve had such a terrible time for so long, and you’ve been such a good mother, and brave too, yet you still don’t believe in yourself. And now you’re traumatized. And the boys and Leo are traumatized, too, for sure (though the girls might be ok?). And Ronny may not even go to prison. And Frank wants to be back on the scene.

Gillian Watch: she gets her 8th birthday, but Narrator does still call her Ginnie accidentally (in her head).

PHEW what a story, and what an ending. I'm not sure any ending I've ever read has left me simultaneously as fulfilled and as conflicted as this one.

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