Keeping Safe the Stars
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
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.
knowledge, some he tried to teach to us. Square roots, symphonies, and sonnets. “Old Finn can’t lose his brain.” “Not lose.” Miss Addie tried to say it cheerful, but still she worked her wrinkled hands into a knot. “Hopefully his trouble will just pass.” “But when’s he coming back to Eden?” Baby asked. “Before we go to sleep?” “Probably not,” I said, because I knew the answer without Miss Addie even saying. I rubbed my hand over Baby’s soft brown bristles. Baby kept his head shaved
wanted something big to happen, but this big wasn’t it. “I dropped him when he kicked me in the stomach.” “And then she had the nerve to ask for money,” the woman said to Nash. She took a long suck on her cigarette. “Show him how you limp.” She reached down and shoved Tommy forward a few steps. At first he made a little hobble, then he walked like anybody else. “His ankle’s sprained.” “Jeanette,” the husband snapped so she’d shut up. He looked around the yard. “Is this operation
be sad. We were never going to talk to Sage again. Nash either. “But right now, let’s make our morning plans.” Baby loved a plan. “The bus leaves at seven twenty, so we’ll need to leave here early, so early we might not see the sun. We can use Old Finn’s red flashlight for the road.” “I get to hold it,” Baby said. “Okay,” I said. I didn’t care who held it. “And we have to walk the whole way. Leave the horses here.” “We’re walking into Goodwell?” Nightingale moaned. “It’s three
Someone kind to help us stay at Eden. Someone who knew for certain Old Finn would never want us in a shelter. Someone who knew how much he loved us, and that someone was Justine. “First,” I said, “we have to track her down.” • • • The three of us crammed into a grimy phone booth, Baby crouched down in the corner, Nightingale and I stuck arm to shoulder, searching through the phone book until we finally found the Rs. And at the end of Rs the Ryans. Ryan, J. There was Jan and Jill and
neighbors,” he said. “Just this May, your grandpa helped me mend that broken fence. Put a new roof on my place.” “I know,” I said. “He was happy to help out.” Old Finn gave. It was taking help from others he didn’t like. “Me, too,” Thor said. “That’s why folks are here.” 8 READY NOW OR NOT Mama wasn’t speaking to Old Finn when Daddy died of cancer. She didn’t invite him to Serenity for Daddy’s funeral or send a picture two weeks later when Baby was first born. Mama said