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"Five" by Julianna Baggott in American Girls About Town is very different in tone from the lighthearted "A Day in the Life of My Great Brit Book Tour" but both share the underlying theme of hope.
An ex-baton twirler from Kernersville, North Carolina makes the trip out to California to visit her sister and brother-in-law after divorcing her fourth husband. Although she loved each husband in her own way for their quirks and special talents, she hasn't felt enough of a connection to stay with any of them. She's afraid of becoming rooted in a boring and ordinary routine.
On the other hand, her sister seems infinitely patient. She is always waiting until the right moment. She is still married to her one and only husband and seems to have a successful and perfect life. In the trip westward, though, the younger sister will learn that not everything is easy to wait for.
On the first reading, I didn't like "Five" as much as "My Great Brit Book Tour." The narrator seemed too self absorbed and too willing to meddle in her sister's life. On a second reading, though, the story is sticking with me. It's a subtler tale that needs reflecting on.
The stories in the book are: (Click on a title to read reviews).