Very begining of the story:
Joey and Celest, the two girls' parents get separated. The man hardly stand it and one day under the effect of alcohol he kills his wife and almost his little girl: Merry.
It's Lulu who opened the locked door to her father: she will always fell guilty about this.
Merry (6) and Lulu (11) are two sisters who share a terriblechildhood. They had they father who killed they mother. The father goes to jail, recognizing the murder.
The story first take place in Brooklyn in July in 1971. It finishes in 2008. The book is divided in 3 parts and describes all the life of the two girls who grew up and turn adult until their father goes out of prison.
The story is alternatively told from Lulu and Merry's point of view. Thismanner of telling the story, give us the opportunity to evolve at the same time of both sisters, and to compare each way of dealing with this terrible past.
Part 1: their childhood:
Their first lived with their grandmother (mother side) who depict their father as a monster (not surprising he killed his daughter). At school they are just known as the girls whose father killed their mother.They have a very different way of telling the story: Lulu cold (“bring tears to your eyes” critics at the end of the book: I disagree), Merry is much more sensitive and wants to see her father
BIG DEAL OF THE STORY: to visit or not the father in prison. The two sisters react very differently on the subject. It's this point witch is developed all along the story.
The two girls move toan orphanage ( a girl house: Duffy) when their grandmother died, because their Aunt did not want their in her house. The life there is made violence, it's really hard for them.
- Once a month, Merry goes to visit her father at Richemond prison with GrandmaZelda: she fells the duty to give him some happiness. At this time, Merry speech is really touching: we fell her fear of loosing somebodyelse she loves. She does love her father, but doesn't understand why he did something so awful: she's divided between her father and her mother side. Her simple way of speaking is really attaching.
- Lulu is trying to forget about it, better than to suffer such a pain. She's strong and ambitious, smart.
The father's mother died. Lulu refuses to speak to him at the funeral. Now the two girlsare all alone and there is nobody left to drive Merry to visit her father.
For Lulu: “ The only family we have is each other”.
Lulu manipulated Mrs Cohen who took the to live with her and her family.
Part 2: 5 years later, teenagers and young adults:
Mrs Cohens died. It makes it very difficult for Merry to stay there, especially know that Lulu is living her life in Boston at her MedicalSchool. They are now the girls whose parents died in a car accident.
In this chapter, we see them evolving really fast and this part highlight how opposed they are: physically and mentally.
at the beginning Lulu had no friends: she was only studying
at a medical class: description of a dead body which makes her think of Mama, she feels bad and guilty
she turns into a doctor(drunk patient made her a panic attack)
Lulu falls in love with an artist, she tells him the truth about her childhood story
Lulu marries Drew
lives alone at Cohens' house and join Lulu the weekend
little jobs, smoke and in several relationship with boys (it contrasts sharply with her innocent childish side)
she keeps on visiting her father
she graduates incriminal justice and get a jo to provide psychological support to criminals and victims: interesting links with her past
have several “sex” affair
the image of the cigarette is always coming back: its consuming her
Part 3: Lulu is 42 and Merry 38
Lulu now has two girls and a house. Merry lives on the 2nd floor. They always need each other. Lulu doesn't fell like being a mother. She...