At fifteen, Faith Duckle was lured under the bleachers by a bunch of boys and brutally attacked. Now, almost a year later, a newly thin Faith is haunted by her past and by the flippant, cruel ghost of her formerly fat self who is bent on revenge.
Faith eventually turns to violence for retribution, forcing her to flee home in search of the only friend she has -- a troubled but caring busboy who is the lover of a sideshow performer -- and to tumble into the colorful, transient world of the circus. But as she dives headfirst into a world of adult passions and dreams, mercurial allegiances, and exhilarating self-discovery, Faith must also face some disturbing truths about herself and the world around her.
At school I was careful not to look like I watched everything, but I did. The fat girl fell into step beside me. She had a handful of gumdrops and sugar on her chin.
"There are all kinds of anger," she said. "Some kinds are just more useful than others."
A locker slammed behind us. I tried not to speak too loudly, because no one except me saw her. "I'm not angry," I whispered.
"Saying you're not angry is one kind," she said. "Not very useful at all, though."
I ignored her and brushed hair out of my eyes. There were days when she was a comfort and days when she was a nightmare. I had yet to determine what kind of day this would be.
We made our way outside. The fat girl had stringy brown hair and wore a blue blouse that was spotted and stained. She sucked on a Fudgsicle as though the autumn day was blissful and warm, but I was freezing. We pressed ourselves against the courtyard wall to watch the crowd file by. When I turned my head she followed my ...
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