Their peach-down flesh and cotton-poly clothing were scented, faintly, and at all times with Ivory Soap and horse manure…

The moon makes me feel like such a creature, ruled by tides and sleepless when full. So many tides throughout life, don’t you think? Today’s excerpt from the book deals with the tug of some very particular teenage years…



Susannah Corwin

“People in the East pretend to be interested in how pictures are made, but if you actually tell them anything, you find they are only interested in Colbert’s clothes or Gable’s private life. They never see the ventriloquist for the doll.”

 F. Scott Fitzgerald


Isabel, my step-daughter, had rejected the whole damn Hollywood infested lot of us and insisted from the age of thirteen on creating her own tribe at an equestrian oriented girl’s school in rural Virginia. Her interests seemed to belong to another era — pre-industrial. She and her classmates woke at dawn and tended to the animals before class. They had impeccable, courtly, Southern manners and their peach-down flesh and cotton-poly clothing were scented, faintly, and at all times with Ivory Soap and horse manure.

Andrew, my stepson, before matriculating at UCSD, had spent a year at a facility in Colorado getting weaned from Adderall. ADHD was an early diagnosis after his parents’ divorce. In high school he had gotten straight A’s, was nearly six feet tall, and when he dropped down to one hundred and twenty-five pounds and couldn’t keep his gangly limbs still his parents finally clued into the fact he was abusing. Lydia Price, my mother and an East Coast school administrator, had been the first to spot the problem. “Give me a break!” Lydia had said. “They’re amphetamines! I see it all the goddamn time. A whole generation of over medicated children – do not get me started. In bocca al lupo! Mom and Dad on Prozac and you can bet their kids are on Ritalin or Adderall.”

John Adams Whipple took this color photo of the moon in 1852 using the telescope at Harvard University

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