I’ll Give You the Sun

by

Jandy Nelson

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Dianna Sweetwine / Mom Character Analysis

At the start of the novel, Jude and Noah believe that their art-professor mother, Dianna, is a “blow-in” from another realm or even another planet. She is so ethereally beautiful to them, so unlike their rational scientist father, and so attuned to both the twins’ inner worlds, that they revere her almost as a goddess. When Dianna, determined to make sure that both of her talented children are admitted to the prestigious CSA, begins trying to lead them on a crash-course of art history and practice, Noah and Jude’s desire to one-up the other and impress their mother begins driving a wedge into the relationship between all three of them. As the novel progresses, Noah and Jude wrestle for their mother’s affections and struggle with the inability to ever live up to her expectations. In Jude’s timeline, set three years in the future, both are wrestling with the pain of having lost their mother in a fatal car accident, and harboring separate but intense regrets about how they related individually to their mother during their final years with her. The twins are also forced to grapple with the fact that, on the day of her death, their mother was on her way to ask the twin’s father for a divorce, so that she could marry her passionate, secret lover, Guillermo—the very man who unknowingly becomes Jude’s mentor.

Dianna Sweetwine / Mom Quotes in I’ll Give You the Sun

The I’ll Give You the Sun quotes below are all either spoken by Dianna Sweetwine / Mom or refer to Dianna Sweetwine / Mom. 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:
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dial Books edition of I’ll Give You the Sun published in 2014.
Chapter 1 Quotes

[Jude] scoots over so we’re shoulder to shoulder. This is us. Our pose. The smush. It’s even how we are in the ultrasound photo they took of us inside Mom and how I had us in the picture Fry ripped up yesterday. Unlike most everyone else on earth, from the very first cells of us, we were together, we came here together. This is why no one hardly notices that Jude does most of the talking for both of us, why we can only play piano with all four of our hands on the keyboard and not at all alone, why we can never do Rochambeau because not once in thirteen years have we chosen differently. It’s always: two rocks, two papers, two scissors. When I don’t draw us like this, I draw us as half-people.

The calm of the smush floods me. She breathes in and I join her. Maybe we’re too old to still do this, but whatever. I can see her smiling even though I’m looking straight ahead. We exhale together, then inhale together, exhale, inhale, in and out, out and in, until not even the trees remember what happened in the woods yesterday, until Mom’s and Dad’s voices turn from mad to music, until we’re not only one age, but one complete and whole person.

Page Number: 17-18
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 2 Quotes

That’s when he started telling me I could say no and that’s when I didn’t. Then his whole body was pressing me into the hot sand, burying me in it. I kept thinking, it’s okay, I can handle this. I can. It’s okay, okay, okay. But it wasn’t and I couldn’t.

I didn’t know you could get buried in your own silence. And then it was over. And then everything was.

There’s more, but I’m not going to get into it now. Just know: I cut off three feet of blond hair and swore away boys forever be cause after this happened with Zephyr, my mother died. Right after. It was me. I brought the bad luck to us.

This boycott isn’t whimsy. To me, boys don’t smell like soap or shampoo or cut grass or sweat from soccer practice or suntan lotion or the ocean from hours spent in the green curl of a wave anymore, they smell like death.

Related Characters: Jude Sweetwine (speaker), Dianna Sweetwine / Mom, Zephyr
Page Number: 47-48
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3 Quotes

Mom says Jude acts the way she does now on account of hormones, but I know it’s on account of her hating me. She stopped going to museums with us ages ago, which is probably a good thing, because when she did, her shadow kept trying to strangle mine. I’d see it happening on the walls or on the floor. Sometimes lately, I catch her shadow creeping around my bed at night trying to pull the dreams out of my head. I have a good idea what she does instead of coming to the museum, though. Three times now, I’ve seen hickeys on her neck. Bug bites, she said. Sure. I heard while spying that she and Courtney Barrett have been riding bikes down to the boardwalk on weekends, where they see who can kiss more boys.

(Portrait: Jude Braiding Boy After Boy into Her Hair)

Related Symbols: The Invisible Museum
Page Number: 57
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

“I’ve tried everything to get through to her, Guillermo. Absolutely everything. I have this weird book and I scour it for ideas nonstop. I’ve done it all. I’ve slept with her jewelry under my pillow. I’ve stood on the beach at midnight, holding up a picture of the two of us to a blue moon. I’ve written letters to her and put them in her coat pockets, in red mailboxes. I’ve thrown messages into storms. I recite her favorite poem to her every night before I go to bed. And all she does is break what I make. That’s how angry she is.” I’ve started to sweat. “It would kill me if she broke this.” My lips are trembling. Covering my mouth, I add, “It’s the one thing I have.”

Related Characters: Jude Sweetwine (speaker), Dianna Sweetwine / Mom, Guillermo Garcia
Page Number: 192
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

A week after Dad’s forgotten birthday, with the rain beating the crap out of the house, Mom and Dad seat Jude and me in the frozen part the living room no one ever sits in to inform us that Dad’s temporarily moving down to the Lost Cove Hotel. […] Mom tells us he’ll be renting a studio apartment by the week until they can work out some issues they’re having.

Even though we haven’t spoken in forever, I can feel Jude’s heart clenching and unclenching inside my chest with mine.

“What issues?” she asks, but after that the rain gets so loud I can’t hear what anyone’s saying anymore. I’m convinced the storm’s going to bust down the walls. Then it does and I’m remembering Dad’s dream because it’s happening. I watch as the wind sweeps everything off the shelves: knickknacks, books, a vase of purple flowers. No one else notices. I grip the armrests of the chair tight.

(Family Portrait: Assume the Crash Position)

I can hear Mom’s voice again. It’s calm, too calm, yellow fluttering birds that don’t belong in this life-bucking tempest. “We still love each other very much,” she says. “We just both need some space right now.” She looks at Dad. “Benjamin?”

Related Characters: Noah Sweetwine (speaker), Jude Sweetwine (speaker), Dianna Sweetwine / Mom (speaker), Benjamin Sweetwine / Dad
Page Number: 259-260
Explanation and Analysis:

[Mom] gets up, walks over to me, puts her hand under my chin, and lifts my face so I’m forced into the earnest hold of her eyes. “Listen to me. It takes a lot of courage to be true to yourself, true to your heart. You always have been very brave that way and I pray you always will be. It’s your responsibility, Noah. Remember that.”

Page Number: 281
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6 Quotes

Dad drove us to the post office to mail off the applications. We couldn’t find a parking spot so Dad and Noah waited in the car while I went in. That’s when I did it. I just did it.

I only mailed mine.

I took from my brother the thing he wanted most in the world. What kind of person does that?

Not that it matters, but I went back to the post office the next day, ran all the way there, but the garbage had been emptied. All his dreams got taken out with the trash. Mine went straight to CSA.

I kept telling myself I would tell Noah and Dad. I would tell them at breakfast, after school, at dinner, tomorrow, on Wednesday. I would tell Noah in time so he could reapply, but I didn’t. I was so ashamed—the kind that feels like suffocating—and the longer I waited, the more the shame grew and the more impossible it got to admit what I’d done. Guilt grew too, like a disease, like every disease. There weren’t enough diseases in Dad’s library. Days kept passing, then weeks, and then, it was too late. I was too scared if I confessed, I’d lose Dad and Noah forever, too cowardly to face it, to fix it, to make it right.

This is why my mother destroys everything I make. This is why she can’t forgive me.

Page Number: 305
Explanation and Analysis:

“[Oscar] didn’t save my life and it doesn’t matter how high it is.” [Noah is] getting drunker by the minute, talking with two tongues now. “It’s Mom who keeps me up. It’s like I have a parachute on. Like I can practically fly.” He makes a slow swoosh with his hand through the air. “I sail all the way down so incredibly slowly. Every time.”

My mouth falls open. Yes, he does. I’ve seen it.

This is why he keeps jumping then, so Mom will break his fall?

Page Number: 322
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8 Quotes

I take him by the shoulders. “Noah.” My voice has returned. “It wasn’t your fault. It wasn’t.” I repeat the words until I’m sure he’s heard them, believes them. “It wasn’t anyone’s. It just happened. This terrible thing happened to her. This terrible thing happened to us.”

And then it’s my turn. I’m being shoved forward, shoved right out of my skin with just how terrible—Mom ripped out of my life the very moment I needed her the most, the bottomless unconditional shielding sheltering love she had for me taken forever. I let myself feel the terrible, surrender to it finally instead of running from it, instead of telling myself it all belongs to Noah and not to me, instead of putting an index of fears and superstitions between me and it, instead of mummifying myself in layers of clothing to protect myself from it, and I’m falling forward with the force of two years of buried grief, the sorrow of ten thousand oceans finally breaking inside me—

I let it. I let my heart break.

And Noah is there, strong and sturdy, to catch me, to hold me through it, to make sure I’m safe.

Related Characters: Noah Sweetwine (speaker), Jude Sweetwine (speaker), Dianna Sweetwine / Mom
Page Number: 348
Explanation and Analysis:

“How do you feel about moving? Not out of Lost Cove but to another house. […] A houseboat.” I can’t decide what’s more amazing: the words coming out of Dad’s mouth or the expression on his face. […] “I think we need an adventure. The three of us together.”

“You want us to live on a boat?” I ask.

“He wants us to live on an ark, ” Noah answers, awe in his voice.

“I do!” Dad laughs. “That’s exactly right. I’ve always wanted to do this.” Really? News to me. Um, who is this man? “I just did some research and you will not believe what’s for sale down by the marina.” He goes to his briefcase and pulls out some pictures he must’ve printed from the Internet.

“Oh wow,” I say. This is no rowboat. It is an ark.

“An architect owned it previously,” Dad tells us. “Renovated the whole thing, did all the woodwork and stained glass herself. Incredible, isn’t it? Two stories, three bedrooms, two baths, great kitchen, skylights, wraparound decks on both floors. It’s a floating paradise.”

Noah and I must register the name of the floating paradise at the exact same moment, because we both blurt out, imitating Mom, “Embrace the mystery, Professor.”

The name of this houseboat is The Mystery.

Related Characters: Noah Sweetwine (speaker), Jude Sweetwine (speaker), Benjamin Sweetwine / Dad (speaker), Dianna Sweetwine / Mom
Page Number: 356-357
Explanation and Analysis:

I glance around the room, sensing Mom so much, certain this is what she wanted. She knew we each held an essential part of the story that needed to be shared. She wanted me to know she saw the sculptures and only Guillermo could tell me that. She wanted Guillermo and Dad to hear the truth from Noah. She wanted me to tell Noah about CSA and maybe I wouldn’t have found the courage if I hadn’t come to Guillermo, if I hadn’t picked up a chisel and hammer. She wanted us in Guillermo’s life, and he in ours, because we are, each one of us for the other, a key to a door that otherwise would’ve remained locked forever.

Page Number: 367
Explanation and Analysis:

Our connection is still so natural, though now, for me, it’s tinged with guilt because of Dad. I turn back to my clay model, start caressing my mother’s shoulder into shape, her upper arm. “It’s like some part of me knew,” I tell him, working the bend of her elbow. “I don’t know what I knew, but I knew I was supposed to be here. You made me feel better too. So much better. I was so locked in.”

“This is what I think,” he says. “I think maybe Dianna, she break your bowls, so you come find a stone carver.”

I look at him. “Yeah,” I say, the back of my neck tingling. “Me too.”

Because who knows? Who knows anything? Who knows who’s pulling the strings? Or what is? Or how? Who knows if destiny is just how you tell yourself the story of your life? Another son might not have heard his mother’s last words as a prophecy but as drug-induced gibberish, forgotten soon after. Another girl might not have told herself a love story about a drawing her brother made. Who knows if Grandma really thought the first daffodils of spring were lucky or if she just wanted to go on walks with me through the woods? Who knows if she even believed in her bible at all or if she just preferred a world where hope and creativity and faith trump reason? Who knows if there are ghosts (sorry, Grandma) or just the living, breathing memories of your loved ones inside you, speaking to you, trying to get your attention by any means necessary? Who knows where the hell Ralph is? (Sorry, Oscar.) No one knows.

So we grapple with the mysteries, each in our own way.

Page Number: 369
Explanation and Analysis:
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I’ll Give You the Sun PDF

Dianna Sweetwine / Mom Character Timeline in I’ll Give You the Sun

The timeline below shows where the character Dianna Sweetwine / Mom appears in I’ll Give You the Sun. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
Magic and the Supernatural  Theme Icon
The next night at dinner, Noah, Jude, and their parents, Dianna and Benjamin Sweetwine, are gathered around the table. Mom announces that earlier that day, Benjamin’s... (full context)
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Magic and the Supernatural  Theme Icon
Dad speaks up to remind Noah and Jude to listen to their mother’s story “metaphorically,” but Mom ignores him and launches into a detailed, ethereal tale of Grandma... (full context)
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Magic and the Supernatural  Theme Icon
Mom chides Dad for his practicality and urges him to “embrace the mystery.” As everyone eats... (full context)
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Magic and the Supernatural  Theme Icon
Dad reminds Mom—a professor of art and art history—that going to art school might be too focused a... (full context)
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Magic and the Supernatural  Theme Icon
Dad and Mom, on the brink of an argument, order “NoahandJude” to take their plates into the other... (full context)
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Magic and the Supernatural  Theme Icon
The following weekend, Noah and Jude are at an art museum with their mother—she won the argument, and the two of them are going to apply to CSA the... (full context)
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Magic and the Supernatural  Theme Icon
As Mom and Jude continue discussing Grandma Sweetwine and ghosts, Mom wonders aloud about what kind of... (full context)
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Mom asks to see Noah and Jude’s sketchbooks and examine the work they did while going... (full context)
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Mom quickly closes Noah’s sketchbook and hands it back to him, declaring that drawing contests are... (full context)
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
...save first if the situation were reversed. Noah and Jude now “both know” who their mother would “dredge out of the water first.” (full context)
Chapter 2
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
...to offer any praise or criticism of Jude’s work, and she looks quietly at her watch—Mom’s old watch, which Mom was wearing when, two years ago, her car sailed off a... (full context)
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Magic and the Supernatural  Theme Icon
...shelves.” Her bad luck confounds her other classmates—but Jude knows she is being haunted by Mom. (full context)
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Magic and the Supernatural  Theme Icon
...the role of intentionality in art, as Jude hears Grandma Sweetwine’s voice whispering to her. Mom breaks Jude’s art, but Grandma Sweetwine is the “good cop” of Jude’s ghost world. (full context)
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
...stares at a print of Michelangelo’s David hanging on the wall. Sandy remarks that Jude’s mother’s biography of Michelangelo was “fearless” before asking Jude to talk to him about what’s going... (full context)
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Magic and the Supernatural  Theme Icon
...make it out of stone. Jude reasons that if she makes something out of stone, Mom won’t be able to break it so easily—and maybe, just maybe, she’ll be able to... (full context)
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
...a “master carver” lives locally, but doesn’t take on students anymore. Sandy mentions that Jude’s mother actually wrote about this particular carver for an art magazine, and urges Jude to look... (full context)
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Fear Theme Icon
...“buried in [her] own silence” during the ordeal. Right after, she found out that her mother died. For Jude, her boy boycott isn’t an act of whimsy—boys, to her, literally signal... (full context)
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Magic and the Supernatural  Theme Icon
...Noah, in that moment, looks like one of his own drawings. In the years since Mom’s death, Noah has dropped art and become totally normal in every way—except for the cliff... (full context)
Chapter 3
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Fear Theme Icon
...hanging with this group all summer, tanning with her girlfriends and kissing boys, and though Mom tells Noah that Jude’s acting differently because of her “hormones,” Noah knows that Jude must... (full context)
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
...out, breaking curfew, and texting with boys are all the result of the fact that Mom didn’t ask to look at Jude’s sketchbook that first day at the museum—and because, when... (full context)
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Fear Theme Icon
...his room and watches Brian and the girls from his window. After a few minutes, Dianna comes in and tries to engage Noah in conversation. She tells him how proud she... (full context)
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Fear Theme Icon
The next morning, Noah overhears Dianna and Jude arguing in the hallway. They are preparing to go into the city together... (full context)
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
...later, and they make a plan to hang out that evening before she leaves with Dianna. As Jude leaves the room, Noah considers how his relationship with Jude is like a... (full context)
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
...Noah comes home and finds a note on the kitchen table—it is from Jude to Dianna, and asks Dianna to come down to the beach to see one of Jude’s sand... (full context)
Chapter 4
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
...she used to, but Jude doesn’t answer. All she can think about is how “if Mom came back, she wouldn’t be able to pick either of [them] out of a police... (full context)
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
...worried that someone will call the house with the news that “there’s been an accident.” Dianna died when she was on her way to see Dad—they’d been separated for a month,... (full context)
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
...Dad and Noah and how poorly they seem to be doing in the wake of Mom’s death. When Jude smells the salty sea air, her memories take her back to a... (full context)
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Magic and the Supernatural  Theme Icon
Jude remembers reading a line from an interview-slash-profile her mother did of Garcia for an art magazine: “He’s the kind of man who walks into... (full context)
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Magic and the Supernatural  Theme Icon
...washes his arms and hair in the sink. Jude becomes lost in memories of her mother, and even believes, for a moment, that she can hear her mother’s voice. She whispers... (full context)
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
...but decides against it—for once in her life, she doesn’t want to be known as “Dianna Sweetwine’s poor motherless daughter.” (full context)
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Magic and the Supernatural  Theme Icon
...looking through Jude’s sketchbook. When Guillermo gets to the blobs, Jude explains that her dead mother’s ghost destroys everything she makes because she is mad at Jude. Guillermo asks if the... (full context)
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Magic and the Supernatural  Theme Icon
...moves on to the real deal, and asks if Jude is planning on carving her mother. Jude tearfully explains that she has tried everything she can to get through to her... (full context)
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Fear Theme Icon
...staring at the art books scattered on the floor, until she spots one of her mother’s. She quietly opens it to the title page, where she sees that her mother has... (full context)
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Jude says only that she’s planning on working on a sculpture of their mother in marble or granite, but Noah is barely listening anyway—his phone buzzes in his pocket,... (full context)
Magic and the Supernatural  Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Fear Theme Icon
Becoming sincere, Oscar tells Jude that he’s sorry for her losses—of both her mother and her grandmother. He then reassures Jude that he didn’t hear very much of what... (full context)
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
As Jude hammers into the stone, she remembers a day not long after their mother died—the day Noah almost drowned after jumping off a cliff into the sea. Jude ran... (full context)
Magic and the Supernatural  Theme Icon
...books and papers, and find an essay he wrote for an art history class—a class Dianna once taught. Jude realizes that if Dianna had lived, Oscar would probably be her student... (full context)
Chapter 5
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
...himself up for thinking he could ever get into CSA, he spots a familiar car—his mother’s. He checks the license plate to determine that it’s really her, and notices that she... (full context)
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
On the drive home, Dianna tells Noah that there’s a dry-cleaner she likes on Day Street, and comes all the... (full context)
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
Magic and the Supernatural  Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Fear Theme Icon
...in town, there is one person, Noah notices, on whom it doesn’t seem to be raining—Dianna. Noah frequently catches his mother out on the deck smoking and talking on the phone—inside... (full context)
Love, Sex, and Fear Theme Icon
...the two of them pull into the driveway back at the house, they see that Dianna’s car is not there. Benjamin tells Noah about a dream he had in which Dianna... (full context)
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Fear Theme Icon
A week later, Dianna and Benjamin sit Noah and Jude down and explain that Benjamin is going to temporarily... (full context)
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Magic and the Supernatural  Theme Icon
...confesses that he always wished Dad would leave. Jude admits that she once wished their mother would die. Noah urges her to take the wish back before it’s too late—since his... (full context)
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
On the first morning of winter break, the smell of Dianna’s delicious baking wafts down the hallway and wakes Noah up. He is anxious—winter break means... (full context)
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Fear Theme Icon
...warning, the kitchen door opens and Brian walks in. Noah involuntarily jumps up, then sits down—Dianna greets Brian, who admits that he could smell her baking from all the way down... (full context)
Love, Sex, and Fear Theme Icon
...the room, unbuckle their pants and begin masturbating. Just as Noah is about to climax, Dianna bursts into the room. The boys fumble to shove themselves back into their pants as... (full context)
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Fear Theme Icon
...leaves through the window hurriedly. Noah stews in anxiety and embarrassment for an hour until Dianna knocks on his door and announces that she’s coming in. She steps into the bedroom... (full context)
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Fear Theme Icon
Noah explodes in rage at Dianna, and tells her that it’s “all [her] fault” that Dad has left and that he... (full context)
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Fear Theme Icon
The next morning, Noah wakes up early in a panic—he is afraid that Dianna is going to tell his dad about the incident with Brian and ruin the burgeoning... (full context)
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Fear Theme Icon
Noah tells Dianna that he doesn’t want her to mention what she saw to Dad, and she promises... (full context)
Love, Sex, and Fear Theme Icon
Noah follows Dianna to The Wooden Bird—a local landmark made from a redwood tree carved in the shape... (full context)
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
...down with his sketchbook and draws a piece of art which he leaves on his mother’s bed before going out to look for Jude. Noah can’t find her anywhere, though—Brian is... (full context)
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Fear Theme Icon
Noah returns home, where Dianna is waiting for him in his room with his picture in her lap—he drew her... (full context)
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Fear Theme Icon
Noah’s mind reels and he accuses Dianna of abandoning their family. He asks if Dianna plans on marrying her new lover, and... (full context)
Chapter 6
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
...in bed, but she cannot sleep: she keeps thinking of Oscar kissing Brooke, of her mother’s and grandmother’s ghosts, and of Noah. After they ran into one another, Noah haltingly told... (full context)
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Magic and the Supernatural  Theme Icon
...the doorway of her parents’ bedroom, which looks as if it is “still waiting” for Dianna to come back. All of her mother’s antique perfume bottles and makeup jars are still... (full context)
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Jude wonders what things would be like if Dianna had lived and moved back home, as she intended to. Her mother always seemed, to... (full context)
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Jude dabs on some perfume, remembering a time when Dianna was still alive. After catching Jude putting on her makeup, Dianna came up behind Jude... (full context)
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Fear Theme Icon
Jude begins working—as she does, she becomes lost in thought, and recalls the afternoon her mother died. She wasn’t home when the news came—she was off at the beach with Zephyr.... (full context)
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Jude reflects even more deeply on what happened in the wake of Mom’s death. Noah became despondent with grief, and after he tried to jump from Devil’s Drop... (full context)
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Magic and the Supernatural  Theme Icon
...opportunity to make things right, she lost her courage. This, Jude knows, is why her mother destroys everything she makes—she cannot forgive Jude for sabotaging Noah. (full context)
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Magic and the Supernatural  Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Fear Theme Icon
...stone—and with her inner demons—as she wonders whether maybe, after all, she doesn’t need her mother’s permission or approval; maybe Jude can be “in charge of [her] own damn light switch.”... (full context)
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Fear Theme Icon
...faces Zephyr for the first time in years, she is reminded of the afternoon of Dianna’s death—the afternoon she lost her virginity to Zephyr on this very beach. The act felt... (full context)
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Magic and the Supernatural  Theme Icon
Jude prods Noah to thank Oscar for saving his life, but Noah insists that it’s Mom who saves him every time he jumps from the cliffs. Oscar warns Noah that drunk... (full context)
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Magic and the Supernatural  Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Fear Theme Icon
Later that evening, Jude sits at her desk finishing up the studies for Mom’s sculpture in preparation for showing them to Guillermo tomorrow. Noah is sleeping, and Oscar has... (full context)
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Fear Theme Icon
...dives out the window. Jude is confused and worried—she studies the photograph, in which her mother and father are smiling at each other “like they have the best secret.” (full context)
Chapter 7
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
...in the sink, searching for the perfect angry color. Just about an hour ago, his mother left the house—as she started her car’s engine, Noah ran out to the drive way... (full context)
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...Noah answers it—a man with a gruff voice asks if he’s reached the residence of Dianna Sweetwine, and if he can speak with Noah’s father. Noah explains that his father doesn’t... (full context)
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...Noah pulls away from his father, looks him in the eye, and tells him that Dianna was on the way over to the hotel to ask him to come home—to ask... (full context)
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...the warehouse—when the man catches sight of Noah, he remarks how much he looks like Dianna. As the sculptor approaches, Noah begins wailing and crying, and Guillermo envelops him in an... (full context)
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...Noah is struck by a new thought: if it weren’t for this man, he realizes, Dianna would still be alive. Noah wriggles from the man’s embrace and tells him, to his... (full context)
Chapter 8
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...arrives at Day Street with her sketchbook and presents Guillermo with the studies of her mother. As Guillermo flips through the drawings, he tenderly traces them with his fingers. He asks... (full context)
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Noah points at Guillermo and states that he killed Dianna. Oscar protests, asserting that no man has ever loved a woman as deeply as Guillermo... (full context)
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Jude asks Noah to explain—Noah tearfully confesses that Dianna was on her way to ask Dad for a divorce when she died, and that... (full context)
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...why her father has been so preoccupied all these years, and why Noah’s grief after Dianna’s death was so intense. She is angry with Noah—but also realizes that he was just... (full context)
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...years, and Noah confesses to Jude that he and Brian were in love, and that Dianna caught them together. Noah regrets ruining Brian’s life—but Jude tells him what she’s found on... (full context)
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...painted on a cement crumbling wall—there are images of her and Noah, of Brian, of Mom and Guillermo at the Wooden Bird, of Dad, of Heather, and Guillermo’s stone giants. Noah... (full context)
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...Pausing in a clearing to sit down, Noah reflects on how his desire to impress Dianna hurt his relationship with Jude. Jude asks Noah if Heather knows that he’s gay, and... (full context)
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As Jude thinks about her mother, she finds herself torn between two thoughts: she is thrilled that her mother was able... (full context)
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...has found a houseboat for sale, and its name is The Mystery—when she was alive, Dianna was always telling Benjamin to “Embrace the mystery,” and now he wants to. (full context)
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...to the backyard, where they sit down together. He begins telling Jude that he knew Dianna well—she was around when Oscar was at his worst, and saw him in some unflattering... (full context)
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Oscar reveals that Dianna always thought Oscar and Jude were kindred spirits—but that she wouldn’t allow them to meet... (full context)
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...have conspired to bring [them] together.” As Jude says these words, she feels both her mother and grandmother’s spirits inside of her. Oscar surrenders and kisses Jude, admitting that he’s crazy... (full context)
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...is—as they stand together in front of the painting on the wall of Guillermo and Dianna entwined in an embrace, Guillermo emerges from the next room and tells them that Dianna... (full context)
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...studio, she realizes that all of the coincidences and collisions have perhaps not been so random—Dianna wanted Guillermo in her children’s lives and them in his, knowing that they are, “each... (full context)