Keeping Safe the Stars
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When crisis hits, a young girl becomes the only one left to take care of her family
Pride, Nightingale and Baby are the Stars. Orphaned and living with their grandfather, Old Finn, in rural Minnesota, the children, like their grandfather, are wary of outsiders. They believe, as Old Finn taught them, in self-reliance.
But then Old Finn falls seriously ill and is taken to the hospital all the way in Duluth, leaving the children to fend for themselves. Pride, as oldest, assumes the lead. Though she makes mistakes, she keeps them afloat; they even earn money for the bus trip to Duluth. But when they finally see Old Finn, he can't walk or even say his own name, and Pride knows her days of keeping safe the Stars are drawing to a close. Self-reliance can't make Old Finn well again. But maybe, just maybe, a secret from Old Finn's past might make a way for them to stay together after all.
A poignant story about family and love, Sheila O'Connor has delivered another extraordinary and mesmerizing tale.
the edge. “We’re running our own business.” Baby grinned and Nightingale nodded. “True,” she said. “But we’re not doing it for charity.” Then suddenly she turned to look at me, a sour scowl scrunching her small face. “And Pride?” she said. “Who’s Justine Matisse?” 24 REAL AND TRUE I could’ve lied about Justine, but I didn’t want another black blot on my conscience. Instead, I told Nightingale and Baby to sit tight while I climbed up to the loft and got the letters. Then
deal in town,” Nash said. “You kids ought to work for Wall Street.” He stood up from the step, lifted up his camera, and shot our souvenirs. A long, clicking string of pictures. “God’s eyes,” he said. “You got to love these things. Ojos de Dios. I remember making them at church camp.” I couldn’t imagine Nash winding yarn through sticks. “I learned them at Serenity,” I said. I’d never been to church camp. “Skye taught me in the craft hut.” “Serenity?” “A place we used to live,” I
inside, wait in Old Finn’s closet so they won’t know that we’re home.” “Hide from Sage?” Baby sulked. “But she’s coming back to play. I’m going to teach her how to fish down at the pond.” “Not today,” I said. Just then, Woody Guthrie barked a loud alarm, and we all froze. Held our breath while tires ground against the gravel. “Nash?” Nightingale whispered. I shrugged. It seemed too soon for Nash to be back for Old Finn. We crouched down on the floor, crawled behind the couch,
Justine his toothless grin. “And everyone will read about the Stars!” “I don’t know.” Nash shook his head. He looked at me. “It’d be a different story from the first one that I started. I could write it, but I understand from Thor their grandpa is a very private man. I’d still need his consent to use the pictures.” “Yes.” Justine stared at the candle. “A very private man. A man who only wants to be alone. He’d never want to see that story written.” “Never,” Nightingale agreed. “And
moment was historic, if that meant everything came to a sudden stop. “I have never been a quitter,” Nixon said, and part of me felt sorry that he had to give up now, even if he was a liar and a cheat. Maybe because I didn’t want to quit myself. Not tonight or ever. And it seemed sad to have so many people hate you, to say bad things about you, and then to have to face them on TV. But maybe being on TV was easier than sitting in a room with the people you had lied to, knowing all the secrets