She lived in a small town of the South, the kind of place where girls become mothers before they get their driver’s license.
United States, late 80’s.
A young woman leaves her native town to run away from boredom and to find her place elsewhere, somewhere where dreams were possible. When she gets to San Francisco she becomes a waitress, makes friends with the young skaters of the neighborhood, relentlessly reads and rereads Lord of the Flies. A simple, honest and most of all a free life. But the dream ends when she receives a phone call: her mother just died. Forced to go back to her town, she meets her future husband, with whom she will have a daughter, Lua.
The young Lua grows up in this smooth world. She makes friends with the exjunkie Eddie, a disreputable neighbor. Being an expert on sorting things out, she rents her shoes to some of her classmates in exchange for a few bucks, she deals liquorice sticks, lollipops and nougat. She makes friends with her teacher James Freak, « this young teacher with snow white hair » who is missing a finger.
But this pleasant and untroubled life comes to a sudden halt when Lua’s father brings home a tarantula. The spider is a metaphor for adolescence and represents all the fears and disappointments of the adult world.
A short novel with engaging characters, in the same vein as Raymond Carver or Carson McCullers’ stories.
« We wouldn’t want to drown the young novelist under the references (Carson McCullers, of course), and still we can’t help but praise the maturity of her writing; her flair for detail and rythm, even on the precise choice of the soundtrack (Gene Vincent, Alice Cooper, The Ramones...) which, as a ballad on a guitar, follows the dreams now drowned on Cherry Coke; the ambitions which were ground by life, and the memories of these ambitions which will break hearts. »
« A writer in the making. »