We start out with whining again as Serena tells Jerusha a pathetic story of borrowing Miss Emili’s car, a flat tire happening in the “bad” part of town when she does not have a cellphone. We get this:
“We locked our doors and prayed for a police officer to come by.”
Somehow it never dawns on Serena to change the tire herself. It’s not fun or pleasant but it is entirely doable. Heck, I’ve done just that a number of times now. Life and problems happen and we adult.
Miss Emili is upset, and has reason to be considering Serena made no attempt to find a payphone or borrow a cell to let her know they’d all be late.
“…and the girls explained how God had answered our prayers while we were waiting.”
Can you see where this is going?
Serena complains about her former friend being shallow and then about some missionary couple at her church who are leaving for Africa, meaning she will lose a friend to talk to. She expresses that she thinks her friend’s husband looks down on her husband. Why Jerusha does not stop the car and make Serena get out and walk I don’t know. This reminds me of the psychiatric scenes in “Mad Men” where Betty’s psychiatrist tells Don that Betty is consumed with petty jealousies and feuds.
There are literally pages of her complaining about this one, or that one, or a lack of money, or huffing that the Huffs have all this money yet are so mean. She goes home continues the whine-a-thon right up until Carl surprises her with a footstool, milkshake and a gifted tv/vcr combo.
We start with some complicated trade with Carl’s work pals that gets these two a station wagon for their beater car held together by glue and bailing wire.
Serena arrives at the Huffs, and no matter all the times Miss Emili has chewed her out now Miss Emili wants her and Carl to move in so that she can homeschool the girls. Huh? Most unbelievable part yet.
After some pages yammering of being forced to skip asthma meds because they cannot afford them, and about how their apartment is filled with mold we have Serena giving out tracts to randos and buying candy canes to add to tracts to give out as Christmas gifts.
“The lady at the checkout wasn’t as obliging as the other employee. “Ahh,” she pretentiously sympathized when Serena added about Allegra’s passing. The woman seemed like she despised the use for their recent grief as an “in” to her spiritual condition.”
The clerk tells them to be happy the boss wasn’t there because he escorts solicitors out. Serena asks Carl this question:
“Why are people so uncaring about those who have died and even about their own futures?”
Because they can tell it is only just about you, your feelings and need to push your agenda on others, without one vestige of genuinely caring about them.
Carl and Serena decide to make up their own tracts with mention of Allegra’s death. Oh brother!
Serena’s mom calls to thank her for the beautiful porcelain dolls Serena took from the Huff’s trash and fixed up for her own daughters. Right afterward Carl buzzkills the plans to move into the Huff household with his Bible reading and sudden plans to move up to upstate New York to be near their girls. So much for their jobs.
Someone at church helps Serena sign up for a piano competition in the big bad apple New York City. Serena and Jerusha go to the laundromat together. Serena complains and throws shade yet again, the ungrateful little wretch:
“Even if Ohioans considered themselves to be Southerners, they hadn’t learned Southern hospitality yet.”
Well, bless her heart!
“…she began discreetly hiding more personal articles behind other laundry as she filled the washer. Hopefully the lady had just disinfected it. What choice did she have without the convenience of one at the apartment?”
Underwear shame and germ phobia are so attractive. This follows her judging the others there and the Vietnamese woman running the place.
“….she had no intentions of misrepresenting the Lord by being offensive.”
That ship has already long sailed.
“It was a pet peeve of hers when older people tried to make the younger generations feel guilty for having life so posh.”
This is the end of several pages where all Serena does is put down senior citizens. Followed by pages of her doing the same thing while inwardly crying over their poverty.
Jerusha and Serena go get a drink, and arrive back just in time to see someone evicting Serena’s laundry from the machines. This just completely devolves into awful writing at this point. When Jerusha and Serena leave to get pop she’s mentally calculating if she’ll have enough quarters still to dry her clothing, but when they come back into the laundromat her clothes are out of the dryer. Huh?
Carl and Serena give out tracts and candy canes as they are leaving their apartment in the bad part of town. One of their neighbors cusses them out, heh. They encounter the creepy guy from chapter one, and discover he’s not creepy at all.
I am skipping the rest of chapters Eleven and Twelve as it’s all belabored idiocy about moving and their church service. Jim is the name of the not creepy now guy and he’s helping. Piles of out of context scriptures cited here.
They drive from Ohio to upstate New York in a blinding snowstorm. They discover during a rest stop that a member of the church has given them a thousand dollars cash in an envelope.
They arrive, a family reunion takes place along with news that Serena has been accepted for the piano competition. They immediately get jobs and an apartment. We’re in stupid wish fulfillment mode I see. Mary Sue-ing it again.
Next up the piano competition. Extra ridiculous chockablock with very unlikely scenarios.
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