The Flying Troutmans: A Novel
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Responding to a distress call from Thebes, Hattie returns from Paris to take care of her niece and nephew, only to realize that the responsibility is far greater than she'd expected. Basketball-mad Logan is infatuated with New York Times Magazine interviewer Deborah Solomon, while purple-haired Thebes's hip-hop vernacular grates on everybody's nerves. She decides to take the kids in the family van (think Little Miss Sunshine) to go find their father, last heard to be running an idiosyncratic art galley in South Dakota.
What ensues is a remarkable journey that takes them across the United States, where amidst the diverse personal chaos, they discover one another to be both far crazier and far more normal than any of them thought.
and if it had been entirely wrong. The alternative seemed insane. Was I supposed to have agreed to kill my sister? Would that have bought her a little more time and made her happy? Just knowing that she had an out if she really, truly needed one? That her little sister would come along and knock her out with a hammer or something? Put a pillow over her face? What was I supposed to have said? Was it the least I could do considering that from the day I was born my sister had wanted to die? None of
with him, said Thebes. I don’t know what to say, I said. Well, she said, you could just start out with talking about how you felt when you were fifteen. There was a soft knock. Thebes catapulted over to the door and flung it open and threw her arms around her brother. He stood there for a minute and let her hug him, and then he patted her back a couple of times and looked at me for help. He still had a few sparkles on his face, under his eye and on his nose. For one second he looked just like
to tell me that Min had seemed crazy to her for a long time? I think we’re in Arizona, said Thebes. I liked the way she sat up in her seat then and looked around with fresh eyes, like things might be radically different now that we had crossed an invisible state line. twelve I WAS AT MIN’S PLACE when Cherkis left. I played with Logan in the backyard while Min, with baby Thebes on her hip, chased Cherkis down the front sidewalk, screaming obscenities and at the same time begging him not
blast, he said. We drove back to the motel first so I could peek in on Thebes. I told Adam he could wait in the truck but he said he’d like to come with me. We went to the room and stood in the doorway and looked at the sleeping Thebes. I like her hair, Adam whispered. I nodded and smiled. You’re a good aunt, he said. I shook my head and whispered no, I wasn’t. I was a disaster. He put his arm around my shoulder and we looked at Thebes for another minute or two, like we were the brand-new
school, did they have friends, were they healthy, were they happy? Did Logan ever talk about him? Thebes was too young to remember him. I told him yeah, oh yeah, all that stuff, they’re really good. I asked him how he was doing and he said he was all right, wanted to quit drinking quite so much, but all right. He didn’t ask me how Min was, probably because it was too hard to hear the truth, and I didn’t tell him, because it was also really hard to tell the truth. Thebes wanted to hang with