Riding the Bus with My Sister

Riding the Bus with My Sister

by

Rachel Simon

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Riding the Bus with My Sister: 20. July: Gone Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
When Rachel and Beth are teenagers, their mom marries her ex-con boyfriend. They go on their honeymoon and leave Beth and Ringo at home. Then, Beth’s babysitter stops coming. Rachel’s grandmother flies Beth out to meet her mother and stepdad on their honeymoon—but she won’t tell the rest of the family where they are. So, Beth essentially disappears.
Rachel and Beth’s adolescence takes yet another turn for the worse. These experiences should help contextualize Rachel’s distance from her family and fear of relationships as an adult. While Beth eventually manages to live independently as an adult, she is by no means capable of doing the same as a teenager. And when Beth leaves, Rachel’s worst fears are realized: she no longer has the power to save Beth from the dangers of the world.
Themes
Disability, Access, and Self-Determination Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon