Jasper Jones

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Laura Wishart Character Analysis

Eliza’s sister, Laura Wishart is a thoughtful, intelligent girl, but her death by hanging is the event that begins the novel. Prior to her mysterious death, Laura had been in a relationship with Jasper Jones, and they had talked about leaving Corrigan and living together one day. Jasper describes Laura as wise and peaceful, two qualities that Charlie also notices in Laura’s sister, Eliza. Over the course of the book, Charlie discovers that Laura’s father, Pete Wishart, raped and abused her.

Laura Wishart Quotes in Jasper Jones

The Jasper Jones quotes below are all either spoken by Laura Wishart or refer to Laura Wishart. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Fear Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Ember edition of Jasper Jones published in 2012.
Chapter 1 Quotes

I am dizzy and sick. And it’s as though touching her has sealed my fate. I am in this story. She can’t be ignored. She’s real. I’ve touched her now. I’ve been privy to her last moments of heat, her last wisps of smoke.

Related Characters: Charlie Bucktin (speaker), Laura Wishart
Page Number: 28
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Charlie describes his experience touching the dead body of Laura Wishart, which Jasper has discovered in the woods. At first, Charlie feels like he's in a dream--everything he says and does seems vague and foggy. But when Charlie helps Jasper throw Laura's body in the river, he can no longer pretend that he's living in a dream--touching Laura's corpse brings home the reality of the situation in the most unforgettable way.

The passage shows Charlie as both an actor and an observer. Charlie's a peculiar character: his primary "job" is to witness and write about the other characters' actions (even his own book is named after someone else), and yet Charlie also gets involved in these characters' actions. Charlie tries to remain an impartial third party, but almost right away, he becomes personally invested in Laura's disappearance.

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Chapter 2 Quotes

I wish I could tell Jeffrey everything. I really do. I wonder what it is about holding in a secret that hurts so much. I mean, telling Jeffrey doesn’t change anything, it doesn’t take anything back. It’s just information. It doesn’t dredge that poor girl from the depths of the dam, doesn’t breathe her back to life. So why do I feel like I need to blurt it all out?

Related Characters: Charlie Bucktin (speaker), Jeffrey Lu, Laura Wishart
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:

Charlie--who's now an accomplice to Jasper, having hidden a dead body at the bottom of a lake--contemplates spilling his secrets to his best friend Jeffrey Lu. Although Charlie and Jeffrey are close friends, Charlie knows that he can't share his secret with anyone--he swore an oath to Jasper to keep silent about the previous night.

Charlie's behavior during this scene suggests a strong need to tell someone about his traumatic experiences with Laura's dead body. By telling someone about his trauma, Charlie hopes to lessen the burden of remembering Laura. In a sense, Charlie is trying to lessen the burden by writing the book we're reading. In other words, Jasper Johns represents Charlie's attempt make sense of his frightening, complex experiences.

Chapter 5 Quotes

Jasper Jones has lost his girl, maybe his best friend, too. His only friend. It seems so infinitely sad to me, I can’t even imagine. To lose someone so close, someone he had his hopes pinned on. Someone he was going to escape with, start anew. And to see her, right there, as she was. Right where I’m sitting. What a horrible series of events this has been. But Jasper Jones has to keep that poker face. He has to throw that cloak over his heart. I wonder how much of Jasper’s life is spent pretending his doesn’t give a shit.

Related Characters: Charlie Bucktin (speaker), Jasper Jones, Laura Wishart
Page Number: 143
Explanation and Analysis:

Charlie tries to understand what his friend Jasper is going through. Jasper's girlfriend, Laura, has died recently; while a young woman's death would be sad under any circumstances, it's particularly moving since Jasper has few friends--his status as an outsider and  a scapegoat in his community means that he's forced to hold his friends especially dear.

Charlie also realizes that Jasper has to hide his emotions: his sadness, his loneliness, and especially his fear. Unlike Charlie, Jasper denies that he's afraid of anything; a lifetime of bullying and scapegoating has trained him to put on a tough face whenever anything frightening happens to him.

Chapter 7 Quotes

We’d gone to confront Mad Jack Lionel about murdering Laura Wishart only to find that he was driving the car that killed Jasper’s mother. The world isn’t right. It’s small and it’s nasty and it’s lousy with sadness. Under every rock, hidden in every closet, shaken from every tree, it seems there’s something horrible I don’t want to see. I don’t know. Maybe that’s why this town is so content to face in on itself, to keep everything so settled and smooth and serene. And at the moment, I can’t say as I blame them.

Related Characters: Charlie Bucktin (speaker), Jasper Jones, Mad Jack Lionel, Laura Wishart, Rosie Jones
Page Number: 244
Explanation and Analysis:

Charlie and Jasper have just visited Jack, hoping to convince him to confess to Laura Wishart's murder. Instead, they wind up discovering that Jack is Jasper's own grandfather. Jack had always called out at Jasper whenever he saw him, because he feels responsible for the death of Jasper's mother (Jack was driving the car when Jasper's mother was rushed to the hospital with appendicitis).

Thinking back on everything he's just learned, Charlie reaches some bitter conclusions: life is a mess; the world is meaningless, etc. Charlie even comes to sympathize with his townspeople--the same people who beat up his best friend's father just a few days before. In the past, Charlie has resented his neighbors for ignoring injustice and pretending that everything is perfect. Now, Charlie can understand his peers' behavior--they're just trying to forget how horrible life can be.

And yet in spite of his understanding, Charlie himself doesn't try to forget about the horrors of life. Instead, he converts these horrors into literature. By writing about Jack, Laura, and Jasper, Charlie finds a more powerful and honest way of coping with tragedy: he deals with his problems head-on instead of repressing them.

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Laura Wishart Character Timeline in Jasper Jones

The timeline below shows where the character Laura Wishart appears in Jasper Jones. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
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...the dead girl, asks Jasper who it is. Jasper tells him that the girl is Laura Wishart. He insists that Charlie help him, since Jasper doesn’t know what to do. He... (full context)
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Charlie, still panicking at the sight of the dead girl, asks Jasper if he killed Laura. Jasper looks confused and disdainful, and denies that he has anything to do with the... (full context)
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Charlie insists that he and Jasper have to alert the police to Laura’s death, a suggestion that Jasper immediately disagrees with, since the police will undoubtedly blame him... (full context)
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Charlie asks Jasper if he ever brought Laura to the bushes. Jasper replies that he did, but always by a circuitous path. This... (full context)
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Jasper tells Charlie that he thinks Mad Jack killed Laura, since Jack often saw him walking with Laura. Charlie is furious that Jasper would bring... (full context)
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Even as he tells Jasper that they won’t be able to track down Laura’s killer themselves, Charlie feels a part of himself wanting to conduct the investigation. Jasper might... (full context)
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Charlie proposes that he tell the police about Laura’s death without mentioning Jasper’s name. Jasper refuses to let Charlie do this. If the police... (full context)
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Jasper proposes that he and Charlie throw Laura’s body in the river, so that no one else will find it before he and... (full context)
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...Charlie looks around with Jasper. They find footprints leading back the way Jasper usually took Laura, and also some trampled grass that might suggest that Laura tried to escape before she... (full context)
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Jasper climbs the eucalyptus tree where Laura is hanging, intending to cut her down. As he climbs, Charlie thinks about Jeffrey Lu,... (full context)
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Jasper climbs back down the eucalyptus tree and walks to where Laura’s body is now lying. He tries to untie the knot in the rope around her... (full context)
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As Charlie stares at Laura’s body, he senses that he’ll never be able to forget her. She looks warm and... (full context)
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Jasper gently runs his hand against Laura’s cheek. For some reason, the sight of Jasper doing this makes Charlie conscious for the... (full context)
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At the river, Jasper directs Charlie to swing Laura’s body into the water. They swing the body three times, and Charlie feels like they’re... (full context)
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...he’s in a dream. Jasper says he knows what Charlie means, and tells him that Laura was everything to him—she was his mother, his sister, his friend, and his family. He... (full context)
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...Charlie feels uncomfortable—it seems strange to talk about the future so soon after having thrown Laura in the river. Nevertheless, he tells Jasper, a little nervously, that he dreams of becoming... (full context)
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...the Miners’ Hall, Charlie thinks about Jasper. Though he’s still terrified by the sight of Laura hanging from the tree, he feels thrilled that Jasper views him as a friend and... (full context)
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...room, Charlie becomes conscious that he’s very dirty and sweaty. He thinks about the facts: Laura was hanging from a tree, she’s now in the river, and only Jasper knew the... (full context)
Chapter 2
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It occurs to Charlie that Jasper may have been responsible for Laura’s death after all. While Charlie finds this possibility unlikely, based on the time he’s spent... (full context)
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...presses on, and teases Charlie about Eliza Wishart. This reminds Charlie of the sight of Laura Wishart’s body. He feels nauseous, and tells Jeffrey to “piss off.” Jeffrey seems not to... (full context)
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...usually a little nervous, Charlie thinks. He feels a strong temptation to tell her about Laura, and to assure her that Jasper Jones didn’t kill her. When Eliza crosses paths with... (full context)
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...to her and asking her to come to the river with him—there, he’d show Eliza Laura. (full context)
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Charlie thinks that in only a few hours, Laura will be reported missing. He can’t imagine how anyone could murder a girl, and doubts... (full context)
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...In his room, Charlie finds it impossible to concentrate on anything but the sight of Laura Wishart. He wishes Jasper were there—it’s not right, he thinks, that he should have to... (full context)
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...and touching her waist. Yet as he imagines her warmth, it just reminds him of Laura. (full context)
Chapter 3
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...for leaving sight of the house against her permission, and tells him that someone kidnapped Laura Wishart. She orders him to go his room, even after he swears and yells that... (full context)
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...he wonders what the hole could be used for—perhaps a tree. His mind jumps to Laura and Eliza, and he feels a strong desire to ask Eliza more questions about what... (full context)
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Wesley muses that the world is changing, and Laura’s disappearance proves as much. He tells Charlie that his mother will tell Charlie that he’s... (full context)
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...he’s spent the afternoon at the Miner’s Hall, organizing a search party to look for Laura. Charlie is tempted to tell his father about Jasper and the river, but he remains... (full context)
Chapter 4
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...arrives home, where he notices that his father is out helping with the search for Laura. Charlie’s mother asks if he wants lunch, and he politely says no. (full context)
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...sits and watches television with his father and mother. There is a news story about Laura’s disappearance. Wesley expresses his surprise that Laura hasn’t turned up yet. When Charlie asks him... (full context)
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...reminds Charlie to be diplomatic, adding that he already tells Charlie more than enough about Laura. Charlie asks Wesley if he can come on the search party, but Wesley says that... (full context)
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Charlie wonders what will become of Laura. Perhaps the search party will never find her body, and he and Jasper will never... (full context)
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...bed and thinks about Eliza. She is his only comfort when he’s feeling anxious about Laura. He imagines the Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz melting into nothingness, and thinks... (full context)
Chapter 5
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A week after Laura’s death, Jasper Jones returns to Charlie’s window. It is a week, Charlie notes, that feels... (full context)
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...townspeople. For the most part, they say that they have no information or evidence about Laura’s whereabouts. The most likely possibility, they suggest, is that Laura hitchhiked out of town. (full context)
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...Lu, he realizes what might happen to Jasper. If he’s linked to the place where Laura was found hanging, then the townspeople, eager for any excuse, could lynch him. He imagines... (full context)
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Charlie and Jasper reach the glade where they found Laura. Charlie feels apprehensive as he remembers the sight of Laura hanging from the tree. Jasper... (full context)
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...hasn’t been in town since last Friday. Charlie suggests that Jasper’s father might have killed Laura, but Jasper immediately disagrees—his father doesn’t have it in him, he says. When Charlie presses... (full context)
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As they take swigs of whiskey, Jasper tells Charlie about Laura and their relationship. He’s confident that Laura would never have left the town without Jasper—the... (full context)
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Jasper tells Charlie that he’s sure Mad Jack Lionel killed Laura. Mad Jack saw Jasper with Laura many times, and he’s killed before. Jasper has passed... (full context)
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Jasper tells Charlie about what he and Laura had been doing in the days leading up to her death. Jasper hadn’t seen Laura... (full context)
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Jasper tells Charlie something Laura once told him. There have been more than 100 billion human beings in the history... (full context)
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...As Charlie crouches on the ground, he notices a carving on the tree from which Laura was hung. At first, he thinks the whiskey is making him see things that aren’t... (full context)
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...the carved tree. Charlie doesn’t know how to interpret the “Sorry”—it is an apology for Laura, for Laura’s family, or for Jasper? Charlie realizes that whoever carved the word is still... (full context)
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...it’s terrifying not knowing where one’s family is. He thinks of Eliza not knowing where Laura is, and feels deep sympathy for his mother. Still holding his mother, Charlie begins to... (full context)
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...With this in mind, he resolves to leave Corrigan as soon as the “mess” with Laura is over. (full context)
Chapter 6
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...next few weeks, Charlie spent much of his time reading the newspaper for news of Laura. There was almost no news of her, and gradually the columns on her disappearance became... (full context)
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...a hit. Eliza compliments Charlie’s shirt, and Charlie compliments her dress. Then, unexpectedly, Eliza mentions Laura. She tells Charlie that her father acts like Laura never existed. She begins to cry,... (full context)
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...Jasper comes with the news that he’s found proof that Jack Lionel was responsible for Laura’s death. Charlie sits by his window, whispering to Jasper. Jasper explains that he snuck into... (full context)
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...what to make of Jasper’s news. Jasper seems certain that Mad Jack is responsible for Laura’s murder. At the same time, Charlie recognizes that, like Atticus Finch, he should weigh all... (full context)
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...thinks that he looks drunk. He calls An Lu “red” and accuses him of murdering Laura. In response, Harry punches Mick in the jaw and throws him his keys. Mick and... (full context)
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...misery of the attack on his father. He contemplates Jasper, wrongfully bullied and beaten for Laura’s disappearance, and realizes that Eliza will hate Charlie if she ever learns that he knew... (full context)
Chapter 7
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Charlie thinks that it’s been difficult not telling Jeffrey about Laura. He wonders if Laura’s dead body will rise to the surface of the lake soon,... (full context)
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...Jasper insists that they visit him. He says that they’ll pretend they saw him kill Laura and scratch the word onto the tree. Tonight is the perfect time for the confrontation,... (full context)
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Jasper presses on, trying to get Jack to confess to killing Laura. He tells Jack that he and Charlie know he killed Laura Wishart, beating and hanging... (full context)
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...explained his relationship to Jasper, he told Charlie and Jasper what he’d seen the night Laura died. He’d watched Laura walking alone, seemingly angry. Jack assumed that Jasper and Laura had... (full context)
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...as he’d promised. She explains that she had to tell Charlie something: she knows where Laura is. (full context)
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...Eliza to go first, and she agrees. She takes out a letter, and explains that Laura wrote it for Jasper. Charlie asks Eliza how she found the letter, but she only... (full context)
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Charlie explains what Eliza told him about Laura’s death. He notes that he needs to “get it out” quickly, because it’s too difficult... (full context)
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Eliza knew that Laura and Jasper were in a relationship, Charlie explains. Their relationship charmed Eliza—it was like a... (full context)
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...Charlie, there had been an argument in Eliza’s house. Eliza’s father was drunkenly yelling at Laura. Eliza’s mother was calm and oblivious, as usual, and Eliza was sitting in her room,... (full context)
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...heard her sister crying and walking out of the house. Eliza didn’t try to comfort Laura because she was afraid and unsure of what to do. After Laura had been gone... (full context)
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In the glade, Eliza watched Laura as she bent over her lap, seemingly writing a letter. Then, Laura climbed the eucalyptus... (full context)
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...again. Jasper Jones arrived in the clearing. Eliza watched as he wailed and moaned, embracing Laura and trying in vain to support her body so that she could breathe again. Then,... (full context)
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The day after Laura’s death, Eliza read the letter Laura had left, even though it was addressed to Jasper.... (full context)
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By reading Laura’s letter, Eliza learned why she’d been arguing with her father the night she killed herself.... (full context)
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...has been going through a pain far worse than his own: she blames herself for Laura’s death. At the same time, Charlie is deeply angry with Eliza—if she hadn’t taken Laura’s... (full context)
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...asks Charlie to tell her what he knows. Reluctantly, he explains that Jasper showed him Laura’s body—the most horrible sight, he tells Eliza, that he’d ever seen. Afterwards, he and Jasper... (full context)
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Eliza mutters that it’s her fault Laura died: if she’d spoken to Laura while she was in the clearing, Laura wouldn’t have... (full context)
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Charlie asks Eliza why she didn’t come forward with Laura’s letter, and if she was afraid of her father. Eliza says nothing, which Charlie takes... (full context)
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...next to Eliza, he wonders what he and Eliza will do with their information about Laura. They could keep silent, thereby saving Eliza from her father’s anger. But even if they... (full context)
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...glade. Jasper demands that Charlie explain why Eliza is there. In response, Eliza throws him Laura’s letter. Jasper says that he won’t be able to read it, since it’s too dark.... (full context)
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...all along: Jasper is a frightened, lonely boy. He asked Charlie to help him with Laura because he was too frightened to go by himself. If even Jasper Jones feels fear,... (full context)
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...will resume their investigation, track down the two of them, and possibly implicate them in Laura’s death. Eliza nods and tells Charlie that Jasper is right. She says that she’s going... (full context)
Chapter 8
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...later, when her father is out of the house for work, she gives her mother Laura’s letter and tells her that Laura’s “trouble” was real. Instead of telling her mother where... (full context)
Chapter 9
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...school in Corrigan, and all the children talk about the events of the summer, especially Laura’s disappearance. There are also two other children, the Beaumonts, who live in a neighboring town... (full context)