The Breakdown Lane

By Jacquelyn Mitchard

An recommendation columnist for an area newspaper, Julieanne Gillis dispenses knowledge to her readers, yet one way or the other ignored the symptoms that whatever used to be amiss in her own residence. dedicated to being a very good mom and retaining her twenty-year marriage clean and fascinating, she is stunned through her husband's shock statement that he wishes a “sabbatical” from their existence together—and devastated while he disappears, leaving Julie with out money to elevate little ones and a small daughter by myself. however it is the invention that Julieanne suffers from a significant sickness that actually crumbles her family's foundation—setting her little ones on a perilous, quixotic trip to find their lacking father prior to it really is too late.

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What's this, do-what-you-think-you-need-to-do-to-satisfy-your-needs shit? Zen? Leo! Don’t you supply a shit what occurs to us? To this condo? To the holy tomato vegetation? ” “It’s all immaterial,” Leo stated, mendacity again opposed to his astronaut-foam pillow. “The fabric is immaterial. ” He grinned. “I simply stated that to getcha, Jules. you recognize I care approximately all that stuff. yet you could deal with it. You’re a truly able lady. we have now a lawn-care carrier. you've got a powerful help process of excellent acquaintances. you may have my mom and dad. And an inventive outlet. enough cash for all of the face cream you’ll want. the kids can help. I’m now not fearful. And I’ll be in consistent contact. ” He had now not been in consistent contact. He had no longer been in contact in any respect. He had no longer left an itinerary, explaining that his travels may perhaps take him to humans in a single place the place they lived, or in one other, although he’d insisted that the massive, brown envelope he’d given me contained an in depth record of addresses and phone numbers the place he may be reached or the place messages may be left. there has been none. All it had fairly contained have been copies of our wills and coverage papers, the variety of the pager he had bought to reinforce his cellphone, and a humorous card, a line drawing of a man in a bit motor vehicle riding in circles, signed with like to me. “I have buddies in Wyoming who stay within the mountains in the summertime, as the cabins they've got aren’t plumbed, yet hire on the town in the course of the iciness, the place they do no matter what type of expert paintings can take them over the vacationer season, after they don’t are looking to pass close to the city, except they promote art…. ” “What makes you're thinking that I supply a shit approximately any of this, Leo? ” He’d appeared really wondered. “As if I supply a very good goddamn what a host of egocentric, getting older drifters do for seasonal paintings. you must understand anything? in my view, that sort of lifestyles sounds worse to me than…than camping out. ” Leo knew I thought of tenting a sin no longer for yet opposed to nature, a sort of primitive subjugation disguised as activity, a manner for males to overcome their chests on the dawning and ladies to clean a similar dishes fifteen instances an afternoon, and with sand. “What may you do together with your issues, whenever you have been slipping backward and forward among worlds? among the city and the mountains? Your outfits and books? ” “Libraries have books, Jules. and most of the people don’t have our garments wishes. you understand that almost all those that do business from home don’t desire twenty pairs of boots, 9 of which—” “Are black, correct, Leo. You’ve in basic terms advised me that 50 occasions. yet I additionally provide speeches, and I’m at the board of the theater, and i've a existence with pals, for which i want garments. I’m not likely to discuss this with you, Leo, as though I have been Imelda Marcos and also you have been Gandhi. Neither of these issues is correct. Do you already know that if you happen to hadn’t received your golden parachute, or whatever—” “Hardly,” Leo acknowledged dryly. “Well, your silver parachute from the collage, from taxpayers, Leo, you wouldn’t be unfastened to play out this little video game, this little midlife Ulysses crap. You aren’t like these individuals with the bandanas, Leo.

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