Summary and book reviews of Wonder When You'll Miss Me by Amanda Davis

Wonder When You'll Miss Me

By Amanda Davis

Wonder When You'll Miss Me
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  • Hardcover: Feb 2003,
    272 pages.
    Paperback: Mar 2004,
    288 pages.

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Book Summary

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.

Chapter One

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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Introduction

At fifteen, Faith Duckle is socially awkward, overweight, and shunned by her high school classmates. After committing a violent act of revenge, she runs away from home, accompanied by the ghost of her formerly fat self. She sets off in search of her one friend, Charlie. Her quest takes her to Nashville, to Atlanta, and eventually to the circus where she soon finds herself enmeshed in a fun, frenetic, new world and its colorful cast of characters. As she navigates the complex adult world of shifting allegiances, entrenched hierarchies, and demanding jobs (cleaning up after the elephants), Faith gains confidence, and fashions a new identity for herself. As the circus wends its way towards a performance in her hometown, Faith ...
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Reviews

Media Reviews
The Boston Globe

How can such a dark book be so full of life? Credit author Davis's subtle depiction of Faith's depression and despair, and her exuberant rise into recovery.

Publisher's Weekly

[An] auspicious debut novel. Davis revitalizes the...circus motif with her tensely lyrical prose and full-bodied characterizations.

Kirkus Reviews

The story rambles somewhat and takes time to cohere, but then it manages to express the unutterable anguish of a child cast into an adult world of hatreds and cruelties that ought to be fatal but walk away intact.

Booklist - Meredith Parets

This is an astonishing debut: dark, disturbing, and fiercely openhearted.

Author Blurb Brady Udall, author of The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint
Amanda Davis has a wicked and inspired imagination.

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