Cover image for Wonder when you'll miss me
Title:
Wonder when you'll miss me
Author:
Davis, Amanda, 1971-2003.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : William Morrow, [2003]

©2003
Physical Description:
259 pages ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 5.0 15.0 75519.
ISBN:
9780688167813
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Follow sixteen-year-old Faith Duckle in this audacious and darkly funny tale as she moves through the difficult journey from the schoolyard to the harlequin world of the circus. At fifteen, Faith was lured under the bleachers by a bunch of boys at a football game and raped. Now, almost a year later, a newly thin Faith is haunted by her past, and by the cruel, flippant ghost of her formerly fat self, who is bent on revenge.

This quest for retribution eventually compels Faith to violence, forcing her to flee home in search of the only friend she has -- a troubled but caring busboy named Charlie, who is the lover of a sideshow performer -- and to tumble into the colorful, transient world of the circus. But as she leaves her old life behind and dives headfirst into a world of adult passions and dreams, mercurial allegiances, and exhilarating self-discovery (while paying considerable dues with a shovel in the elephant tent), Faith ultimately begins to discover who she is and all that she is capable of.

Wonder When You'll Miss Me combines tender wit with page-turning energy and characters as original as they are memorable. By turns harrowing and poignant, lyrical and hilarious, it is a vibrant, compelling novel readers won't forget.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Davis' stunning first novel expands a short story from her collection Circling the Drain (1999). Lonely for her dead father, an outcast at her high school, Faith Duckle has only one confidant: the Fat Girl, a grotesquely distorted version of Faith as she was before a brutal sexual assault drove her to attempt suicide. The Fat Girl follows Faith everywhere, consoling her, counseling her, and relentlessly urging her to exact vengeance on the popular boys who hurt her. Faith gives in and attacks one of them after school, and then she and the Fat Girl run away to join the circus. Davis is expert at rendering the small cruelties of life in Faith's bleak hometown, juxtaposing them with the frayed grandeur and scrappy glamour of the circus, where she eventually comes to terms with herself. This is an astonishing debut: dark, disturbing, and fiercely openhearted. --Meredith Parets


Publisher's Weekly Review

Feeling invisible is only one problem for 16-year-old Faith Duckle, the engaging protagonist of Davis's auspicious debut novel (an expansion of her short story "Faith, or Tips for the Successful Young Lady" from her critically acclaimed short story collection, Circling the Drain). The ironically named Faith is also running from a brutal assault that led to a suicide attempt and a stay in rehab, where she shed 48 pounds but not her despair. When she returns to school, nobody seems to notice, except her imaginary "fat girl" alter ego who reminds her, "There are all kinds of anger.... Some kinds are just more useful than others," and convinces her to exact bloody vengeance on the boy who was a key participant in the violence. Fleeing the aftermath of her angry attack, she joins the small traveling Fartlesworth Circus, where she cleans up after elephants and horses and gradually detaches herself from the haunting fat girl who delights in dogging her every move. Her new identity, Annabelle Cabinet, revels in the spangled sawdust world of performing acrobats, animals, clowns and freaks, and begins to heal. Davis revitalizes the moth-eaten circus motif with her tensely lyrical prose and full-bodied characterizations. Faith/Annabelle's gradual path to happiness among the "misfits" of the big top leads her, and readers, on a fast-paced, well-documented (Davis actually toured with a circus in 1999) adventure toward self-acceptance. While some readers may be dissatisfied with an ambiguous ending that eschews a sentimental resolution to Faith's metamorphosis, Davis remains true to her character's emerging independence, confidence and faith in the future. Agent, Henry Dunow. (Mar.) Forecast: Given its theme of adolescent angst and the author's fresh and accessible style, booksellers could easily recommend this title as a YA crossover. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-Faith was a fat girl, but after a suicide attempt keeps her hospitalized for seven months, she returns to school thinner, more attractive, and optimistic that things will get better. Not only do they stay the same, but the "fat girl" inside her is still serving as a gluttonous, pessimistic shadow and vocal instigator, trying to persuade her to skip town and to take revenge on her enemies. The fat girl finally gets her way, and Faith joins the circus, hoping to end up with her new friend Charlie. He is nowhere to be found, but Faith, now calling herself Annabelle, finds a home with the ragtag group of performers. Much of the story is heartbreaking in its depiction of teen cruelty, and of the protagonist's efforts to maintain her sanity in spite of hardships. Davis's writing is at its finest when the protagonist is struggling through the constant trials with her distant mother, her ineffectual teachers, and her one true friend's suicide. Girls like Faith, and the reason for her suicide attempt, are well known in both fact and fiction. The author succeeds in making this character unique, with flaws that teens will relate to. Readers will root for Faith, and the heartwarming conclusion will leave them satisfied.-Jamie Watson, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Wonder When You'll Miss Me 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 gaze and patted my shoulder. "Don't get your hopes up, Faith," she said. "Sweetie, I'm telling you, that is never going to work out." She was talking about Tony Giobambera, who had dark curly hair all over his body and smiled with his mouth but not with his eyes; who walked slowly, like a man with a secret. I said, "You never know." She said, "Actually, I do know." Then she sucked off a big piece of chocolate. Tony Giobambera settled on his rock and lit a cigarette. I followed the fat girl to a place where we could watch him. He smoked like the cigarette was an extension of his ropey arm and rough hand. When he leaned back and blew a stream into the sky, I watched the pout of his lips, the black curl that fell over one eye. Then Tony Giobambera smiled in our direction and I wanted to disappear. "Nothing like a little attention to send you over the edge," the fat girl said. "What would you do?" I said. "I mean I don't think you'd do anything different." "I'd think about getting even," she said. "I'd think about making something happen." Instead I found a better place on the grass where I could see him but pretend to stare off into space, thinking about more important things than how much I would give up just to have Tony Giobambera run his finger along my cheek and my throat again. - - - It was after what I did, the long summer after I'd shed myself completely and was prepared to come back to school like a whole new person, only inside it was still me. It was at an end-of-the-summer party a week before school started. I'd walked there from my house and the Carolina night was humid and heavy. I sang softly to myself, thinking of how different I looked, of what it would be like to walk into a party in normal-person clothes bought from a normal store. I smoothed the front of my new sleeveless green blouse. I could hear the party behind the big white door. I took a deep breath and rang the bell, but nothing happened. I leaned over a little and through the windows I saw people draped over couches and moving in the dark. I rang the bell again, then tried the door. It was open. Inside, Led Zeppelin blasted from the stereo. A guy and a girl curled up together in the corner of the foyer. In the living room, people stood in clumps along the wall or splayed themselves over couches and chairs. The house rang with noise. I walked down a hallway. I put my hands in my pockets, then took them out again. In the kitchen I found a beer but didn't open it. The smell of pot drifted up the stairs from the basement. A few muscled guys and a pale, fragile-looking girl sat around the kitchen table flipping quarters into a glass. They slurred their words, laughing loudly and hitting each other in the back of the head when a quarter missed the cup. Drink, drink, drink! they chanted. The girl smoked a cigarette with a glazed smile. One guy glanced up at me, but looked away quickly. I blushed anyway. I wandered downstairs to the basement, where I recognized a few people from last year's English class. They sat in a circle around a reedy guy with long blond hair and a red bong, hanging on every word he had to say. He told a complicated story, something involving a car and the police, but I couldn't follow it. Every so often one of the girls shook her head. "Fuck," she said, and ran her tongue over her braces. "Holy fuck." I went back upstairs and walked from room to room waiting for someone to notice the new me, but no one seemed to. Disappointment pushed me outside. I tripped my way down wooden stairs, away from the bright lights of the house toward the small latticed huddle of a gazebo. Inside there was a bench and I sat, slapping away mosquitoes, with a tightness in my chest that made me want to scream. How could everything change so much and stay exactly the same? I'd lost forty-eight pounds and my skin had mostly cleared up. I'd missed a whole semester of school and disappeared for seven months. It seemed like no one had even noticed I was gone. I pulled my knees to my chest and picked at the vines that climbed the trellis overhead, ripping off leaves and stripping them down to their veins. I was wondering how I would possibly survive the whole next year, when Andrea Dutton came stumbling out of the trees. Wonder When You'll Miss Me . Copyright © by Amanda Davis. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Wonder When You'll Miss Me by Amanda Davis All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.