Reading Response #13

Select one of the stories assigned this week, and post a 500-word response below on what you saw as the story’s strengths and weaknesses. Be sure to also make a comment on a classmate's response for full credit.


22 thoughts on “Reading Response #13

  1. Andrew Lange

    I very much enjoyed “Refresh, Refresh”. I found it relatable given today’s political climate. Although I never did see a hint as to what year it takes place, the presence of e-mail and people’s attitudes make me thing the early ’00s when the Iraq and Afganistan wars were particularly heating up.

    I thought the way the story was written added a lot of its meaning; it was written from the perspective of, I presume, an 18-year-old. The narrarator and one of his childhood friends have grown up in a small town in Oregon, where the biggest thing going on in their small town of about 1,500 people is the adjacent Marines base. This serves as a backdrop to the story while the main character and his friend experience the situation of their fathers enlisting as reserve marines, only to later be deployed. As the story progresses, the boys hear from their respective fathers less and less frequently. The story’s “Refresh, Refresh” title clearly comes from the days of primitive HTML email and hoping, willing, their fathers to reply.

    As the story wears on, one of the boys’ rivals has his father killed on active duty. At first the boys are saddened, then almost glad, in their teenage angst, that it wasn’t their own father who was killed in the line of duty.

    Later, as the story draws to a close, the boys themselves go to enlist, presumably as a rite of passage into “manhood”.

    The main strength of the story was clearly the way it was written, conveying the feelings of the boys in an informal but relatable manner.

    The main weakness I found was that the story, I think, withholds a lot of information about what else is going on in the boys’ lives that results in their bottled-up anger. Of course, a lot of information about the fathers is withheld because, well, there isn’t much known by even the boys themselves; as the story wears on they hear from their fathers less and less.

    1. Aundrea Pierce


      When I read “Refresh, Refresh,” I thought of you because it seemed to relate to your style of writing! I’m trying to convince my husband to read it because it’s a well written masculine story. I usually don’t prefer reading stories geared towards the military and roughness, but I very much enjoyed this, like I did “All Quiet on the Western Front”. I related to this story on a personal level because my dad is a retired marine, who was assigned to recruiters duty (hardly was home, it’s not a fun duty). Then he was tasked to go to Iraq for six months. I agree with your thoughts on the story’s weakness in withholding information. I got a little confused towards the end, did both of the boy’s fathers die? That’s what I took from it but the story never comes out and says it in black and white. I’m a blonde so maybe that’s why I got confused too. Overall, I loved this and would love to see it on screen, it has a lot of action. !

  2. Aundrea Pierce

    I very much enjoyed both stories this week, but I’m going to do my response to Benjamin Percy’s “Refresh, Refresh.” I’m a female, so I’m always curious how men view the world through their eyes. From my observations and experiences, I’ve noticed that men are good at jotting down descriptive details with pen and paper. I related to this story on a personal level because my dad was all marine (still is). Like Dave, my dad was assigned recruiters duty, and like the narrator, my dad deployed for six months, and I thank God he came back! People either like recruiters or get annoyed by them, I know I was annoyed with my dad working all the time. The story also hit home because, I remember telling my dad before he left for Iraq that if he died over there, I would join the Marines. I was fifteen at the time, so I didn’t understand what I was talking about.

    I liked how clear the story was written. I could grasp what was going on in my mind and follow along smoothly, until the end, I’ll explain towards the end. “Throughout my childhood I could hear, if I cupped a hand to my ear, the lowing of bulls, the bleating of sheep, and the report of assault rifles shouting from the hilltops.” (Percy, 2013) I felt Percy used unique descriptions to help the reader use their senses to connect to the story. There was a lot of action with fighting, camping, and more fighting which made me more anxious to keep reading. I wanted to know how the story was going to end. I also liked the title “Refresh, Refresh” and feel its very fitting with the theme!

    I started to get a little confused with the conclusion, and it took me a couple of re-reading to realize the fate of the fathers. I might have started reading too fast at the end, and the message just flew right over my head. It would have been nice to know a little more about the fathers since they seemed to be the boy’s most significant role models. For example, what were their thoughts on being away from their sons? I wanted to know a little more about why they looked up to them so much, aside from the fact they were their dads. I got an excellent exterior picture of the dads, from the details of their beer drinking, baseball throwing, crotch scratching men.
    Overall, I felt this piece was a nice glimpse into the minds of little boys without their fathers around. Furthermore, how they cope and express their emotions from it all. It’s a story that so many readers, such as myself can relate to on some level; whether it be missing a dad, having a best friend, or military ties. Percy gives nicely gives readers a small town feeling through his descriptive words like “Aqua Velva smelling-fathers.”


    Percy, B. (2013). Refresh, Refresh. The Paris Review, 1-6. Retrieved April 9, 2018, from

  3. Caitlyn Williams

    I chose to write my response about the story, St. Lucy’s Home For Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell. I chose this over the other short story Refresh, Refresh because the short story about adapting to humanity captured and held my attention for a longer time. I found myself going back to read even when I was really tired.

    The way this book wrapped around me was a strength. The title is also something that made me want to read on. The way that the five stages were included as headings really kept me interested. It showed what stage they were supposed to be in, and how it would make them feel. I liked the plot line, and the way the story was formatted. I liked the POV of the story as well, it really showed Claudette’s perspective on adapting to being “easy to kill.”

    I enjoyed reading about Mirabella, the youngest sister, as well. The way she couldn’t adapt to their new culture really opened my eyes on how some people can’t change. I thought she would adapt to their new culture easily. I was wrong, maybe she was too young to grasp a new culture, and the way “something was done” made me wonder how her life unraveled. Did she find her parents, or did she live as a lone wolf girl after being let into the woods alone?

    Another part of the story that I really liked was the way that Claudette, the main character, tried her hardest to adapt. I liked her perseverance and her acceptance of her current situation. The way she tried to perfect the sausalito for the ball planned was great. I liked how she was humble, but proud. The way she knew she could surpass the eldest sister, but didn’t showed that she had respect for her. It also showed she knew where she stood in the pack.

    A weakness I found in this story was that I wanted to know more about the backstory, and I also wanted to know what happened after the ending. Maybe this is a mystery, but I wanted to know more!

    The ending really perplexed me. Claudette got a pass to see her parents after completing stage 5, and it was interesting to see her reaction on being home. She saw them all eating a bull moose when she got home. The way her mother didn’t recognize her at first intrigued me too. I wondered if Claudette smelled “easy to kill”. The way their mother was sad, but proud got to me. Why did they have to go to the home in the first place? What happened next? How long did she stay? What did her wolf family do next?

    I liked this reading, and I will read it again. The strengths in this story overpowered the weaknesses, and the plot line overall really captured my attention.

    1. Monica Gallagher

      I enjoyed reading your response to St. Lucy’s, it really gave me a different perspective to explore. You looked past all the obvious non-realities of the story line and chose to dive in and look at the hidden meanings. You’re right, there was a lot of psychological adaptation that happened. The inter workings of that adaptation between the various characters was interesting. The juxtaposition of animalistic tendencies and civilized behavior was strong.

      I had a hard time getting past the hilarity of the story and wasn’t able to really look into all that detail. I guess I didn’t allow myself to take it seriously, which is unfortunate. I think I do that a lot with fiction when it’s not closely related to what could realistically happen. That realization is odd to me because I really appreciate and respect sci-fi/fantasy. Now that I think about it though, most of what I tend to like in that category always has some root of possibility of reality whether that be in the present or future. This story didn’t fit that bill, so I overlooked it. I appreciate your response because it forced me to look into it deeper.

    2. Jessica Honebein

      I agree with you that it would have been nice to know a little bit more of a backstory, instead of just being thrown into the story. I thought it was interesting how each of the girls had a different level of adapting and it was neat to follow each of there rebellions and heartaches as they were adapting to a different kind of lifestyle. I really liked the theme that Russell had of adapting to civilization and how it makes you lose the nature that you have. I think this is why her mother was so off put by Claudette, because she really had changed from who she was in the beginning.

  4. Monica Gallagher

    Russell’s St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves was an interesting story to say the least. The idea for the story was unique and original, though very odd. I had a hard time just reading the story, I stopped several times, questioning multiple things throughout the story. It was inquisitive in that way, but other than that, it was a choppy delivery because of the amount of questions that were rolling around in my head.

    There was a touch of satire in it, but it wasn’t genuine to me. It seemed too far-fetched, too sci-fi to pull off that type of humor. There was an ironic element to it that I kept waiting to come full circle into a full statement, but it never got there. A part of me thought that maybe it was supposed to be children’s book, but that didn’t add up, when there were more mature statements and situations that were happening in the story. I just really didn’t get it. There were too many elements going on that never really came to a fruition for me. I would not recommend this story to anyone.

    Percy’s Refresh, Refresh was truly refreshing to read after reading St. Lucy’s. The authors use of metaphors is stellar. His writing is down to earth and realistic. At first, it was hard for me to tell the age of the two main characters, the boys. Initially, I was thinking they were early teens but later in the story I realized that they were older. Having a better grasp on their age may have led to different meanings for the characters. It was sort of confusing, because the first half of the story I thought they were little boys and the second half of the story they were older young men. There didn’t seem to be any time shift in between that change within the characters. I do get that there was a change in them due to their fathers being away and the author was possibly trying to portray that, but there was something off with it that wasn’t seamless.

    There was a break in the story that I didn’t quite understand either. The boys were messing around out in the woods and it the atmosphere of the story seemed like it was heightening into some sort of climax, then it just stopped. The story cut to a news break talking about the war. The author could have been speaking to the unpredictable nature of their lives during that time, but I felt like I was fishing for meaning with that which could’ve been what the writer was going for. The ending was unfulfilling and uneventful. The story heightened again with the Recruiter and I honestly thought they were going to kill him, but they didn’t. This was the second time the story was headed towards climax and never fully delivered.

    Beyond that, out of the two stories, my vote is for Refresh, Refresh. The writing style and realism is so much better. I didn’t feel like I had completely wasted my time after reading Refresh, Refresh, whereas with St. Lucy’s, I’ll never get that time back.

  5. Sierra Russell-McCollum

    This week I decided to read “Refresh, Refresh” and was not disappointed at all. I found this story very interesting throughout and was very absorbed in it. The thing I liked the most about this story was that the setting was in Crow, Oregon. Every city, landmark, or store they mentioned I knew exactly where it was. Having family in Eastern Oregon I grew up down there spending summers and camping. The way he described Crow, Oregon was spot on. I myself have been to the old famous Dairy Queen a number of times.

    This story had a lot of positives for me. One thing I absolutely loved was the description. Every scene was fully described, it gave me the feeling that I was standing there, alongside the boys. The author has a way with words that draws you in. I was never bored while reading this story. Another thing I really liked about the story and thought was one of its strengths was the way they tied in their fathers with every scene. This story was obviously about the two boys and their fathers off in war and the struggle/ life they had to learn to live without their fathers. I liked hearing and reading about the adventures the boys went on with their dirt bikes throughout Eastern Oregon. And the author always had a reason for mentioning a certain scene making it tie into the story perfectly. There was not a single scene where I thought it didn’t fit in. Everything had a purpose.

    Another strength this story has is how relatable it is for communities or people who experience this type of situation. Having a loved one in the military can be scary. You may be fine on the outside but on the inside your torn apart and feel empty. An example of this in the story was the boy constantly checking his email. At first, he was getting emails from his father constantly but as the week and months went by they started to slow down. You can feel exactly what the boy was feeling and it was extremely sad. This author helps people really show what this kid was feeling. Those emails where the only communication the boy got and when that was cut off you could see him going downhill.

    It was also very interesting having boys be the main character. Usually, girls are the main focus of the story, which is easier for me to relate to since I’m a girl. But having two boys be the main characters was very interesting to me. Reading about their boyish ways was foreign to me, yet I very much enjoyed it. It was different and the author described their actions and feelings so well. I’m glad I picked the story because this is definitely different from any short story I have ever read and I really liked it. The writing style flowed nicely and it fully had my attention.

    1. Michelle Cordova

      Hi Sierra,

      I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on Refresh, Refresh, and I felt a lot of the same emotions that you did from this story. I’ve never been to Oregon, but the authors descriptions made it easy for me to get a clear visual of the area, so its neat that you’ve been there and can vouch for the accuracy! I felt that the author perfectly described the scenes and scenarios and really made it easy to relate to, or at least understand for those who have never experienced sending a loved one off to war. Great job!

    2. Corbin Knapp

      Hi Sierra,
      I enjoyed your response to Refresh, Refresh, because I agree that the descriptions were wonderful, and that his way of writing really draws people in. Nice work!

  6. Michelle Cordova

    Refresh, Refresh by Benjamin Percy was incredible, raw, and heartbreaking. It was perfect on so many levels that I didn’t want it to end.

    The opening paragraph itself was captivating as it described the backyard fights of two boys who were simply trying to displace their anger in the only way they knew how. From then on, I felt this overwhelming desire to read of a happy ending for the two boys, which sadly, never happened, but in a good way.

    From beginning to end, the author did a great job of describing the scenes, characters, and their feelings, not leaving out any details. He made it easy for me to create a visual that pulled me in and allowed me to clearly see the events unfold. Personally, it was easy for me to connect with this story as my father served in the military, as well as my husband, brother, and so many of our friends, so I am familiar with hitting the refresh button in my email, hoping to get a quick note that could ease my fears and allow me to fall asleep at night.

    The only things that sort of confused me was how I felt that years had passed since the boy’s fathers left for war, but on the other hand, it seemed as if they had only been gone for a short period. Which, then again, makes sense as deployments are difficult and seem to last forever, even if they only last 6 months.

    I really enjoyed how easily Percy was able to express the feelings of these kids. I really felt that he did a great job of showing their anger, even though I think they went a bit overboard when beating up the recruiter. I can’t imagine that his (the recruiter) job is enjoyable, but I guess a teenager would find it difficult to not blame the messenger in this scenario, especially when he is the one that they feel is responsible for sending their fathers away.

    Overall, this story is very well written and easy to follow. It definitely has a way of tugging at the heart and making you feel sad for the boys who clearly miss their fathers being around. The biggest twist for me, though, was that they ended up enlisting, like their dads. I guess I just hoped for better for them. But then again, they wanted to please their fathers, even from the beginning, so I’m not overly surprised that they followed in their dad’s footsteps.

    1. Cassidy Kramer

      I agree! The author of “Refresh, Refresh” did a very good job at making the story readable and understandable for the reader. Very heartbreaking story.

  7. Corbin Knapp

    St. Lucy’s Home For Girls Raised By Wolves by Karen Russel was an interesting read, but I thought it was a little bit confusing. I can’t tell if the author is comparing the girls to wolves, or they actually were raised by wolves. The way she describes their parents also make me think that this is set in a fantasy world because she describes them like werewolves. I also thought her story is slightly disturbing, because periodically Russel adds some passages from a pamphlet that the nuns use to make the girls adjust to society called The Jesuit Handbook on Lycanthropic Culture Shock. I think how the nuns kind of reprogrammed the girls was kind of eerie, and added a strange twist to an already strange story.

    The nuns then put name tags on all the girls and gave them random names to the girls’ displeasure and discomfort. The story than shifts forward in time a little bit as the nuns move onto stage two of making the girls behave “properly.” Throughout the second stage of the story the girls are still getting used to behaving like average people, and have to remind themselves to keep their shoes on and behave. The other girls start to worry about one of the younger members of their “pack” named Mirabella who is not adjusting to her new life and continues to act more like a wolf than a human.

    For the second stage in the story, the girls are now getting used to their new surroundings and the customs the nuns teach them, but Mirabella is still struggling and the other girls are starting to be disgusted by her behavior. The narrator pleads to herself that she doesn’t have to pair up with Mirabellla when they have to feed the ducks because she thinks Mirabella will eat them, but she is paired up with Mirabella to her annoyance.

    Mirabella continues to annoy her until the narrator snaps and growls at her. I found this part to be a little disturbing because after the narrator returns to the nuns they separate her from her friends and make her watch a slide show showing what happens to the wolf girls who do not adjust to society. The narrator then later found that she felt compassion for Mirabella and she was happy that she had started to act like the people mentioned in the nun’s book. The other girls continue to adjust to society except for Mirabella and the nuns decide that it is time for the girls to test their skills and arrange a dance for the girls and the wolf boys. The dance is going poorly for the narrator when Mirabella leaps onto her and saves her from embarrassment, but in turn is escorted out of the dance. The next day Mirabella had disappeared.

    I found this book to be an interesting read, but slightly confusing and strange. The story ends with Mirabella returning to her family to show her human skills. I think that it could have had a better ending but the story flowed smoothly, and kept me engaged throughout the whole story.

    1. Caitlyn Williams

      I agree! this story was definitely unique read. I didn’t quite get if she were actually a wolf, or a girl raised by wolves either. I found it really intriguing the way Claudette started feeling like an animal again when she was put on the spotlight to showcase the dance with a brother. To me, this showed that you can’t change 100% without having the natural fight or flight response you have whether it be wolf like, or human like. I liked it, and yes! The ending could have been better, I agree 100%

  8. Jessica Honebein

    “St. Lucy’s Home For Girls Raised” by Wolves by Karen Russell was a very interesting short story, and I ended up reading it a couple times to really get my head wrapped around it. I think having the story narrated by one of the little girls as she progressed through the stages of learning what it is like to be in human society helped to create a stronger connection to the story. I also think that the theme of the book was very strong as well. I picked out the theme of what it really means to be civilized and I think that Russell told the story through these girls because it shows how becoming civilized means losing touch with nature. I think that the youngest girl not being able to adapt to civilization and wanting to keep her nature side really helped the story as well.

    The little girl was the one that made them realize the difference and how society was corrupting how they were raised. I think that the scenes within the story also added a good amount of strength to the story. The scene where the boys and girls could talk to each other, but only if it were “scripted” were interesting. I feel like Russell was implying that as a society we try to control the gender roles. I think that how all the girls reacted to the placement was also a strong detail to the story.

    The oldest one/ Jeanette, adapts the quickest becoming the first to start her life in a new way. She rejects how she was raised and takes on an education. The narrator, Claudette, on the other hand also values education but refuses to fully adapt to the new lifestyle. She seems to quietly accept that she is going to have to change, even though she may not want to. The youngest, Mirabella, is polar opposite from her two other siblings. She completely rejects adapting and changing what she believes is right to the civilized way. I think that she does not want to bury her side that she feels the most comfortable with and happiest in. These differences in adoption also add to the story because they show the different levels that people adapt, or do not adapt to.

    I do not think there was much that brought weakness to the story. I think that what Russell was trying to relay onto the reader did come out the way she was hoping. I did have to read the story a couple times to really get down to the knit and grit of what she was trying to say, but it was easy to read and flowed well. Ultimately the story is a fascinating dissection of civilized society, and I love how she threw in twists like gender roles. The setting brought lots of detailed images and feelings to my mind, and the characters were very well described and played a good role in the book. It was a brisk and easy to read short story that had a deeper hidden meaning.

    1. Ben Knapp

      I also really liked this story. Although I didn’t really look for deeper meanings and social commentary like you did, I definitely see where you are coming from. I think you did a good job of describing the story, and it’s always interesting to see someone else’s take on a story.

    2. Naimy Schommer

      I really love how you brought the inspection of gender roles to this review. I didn’t place the same emphasis on my reading, but your thoughts are interesting and make me want to go back and read this piece under a new light.

  9. Ben Knapp

    The story “St. Lucy’s School for Girls Raised by Wolves” was strange and a little disturbing, but an interesting story nonetheless. It incorporated many themes, and the characters were believable, despite being some kind of wolf-children. Although it confused me a little, I mostly enjoyed reading it.

    The main source of the confusion for me was the children. Early in the story it was unclear to me whether the children were wolf pups that were somehow transformed into little girls, or actual girls raised by wolves, as the title suggested. The second choice would seem obvious, except for how the children refer to her hand as paws and so forth. Once I had gotten deeper into the story it became clearer that the children were, in fact, human. Although I personally would have liked a little more on the subject to clear things up, I understand the reasoning behind it.

    It does make sense that, as the children become more convinced that they are humans, not wolves, that the reader also becomes less confused. Looking back at it, I realize that it was actually a rather clever literary device. It makes sense that, as the story is told from the point of view of one of the children, that the reader shouldn’t know any more than the narrator.

    Another aspect of the story that I found interesting was the nuns. They seemed to be willing to take a lot of punishment in their quest to bring the children back to civilization. They endure having their ankles constantly bitten by the children without complaint, making it seem as though they are used to raising generation after generation of wolf-children. Wherever this place is that there is a need for a school exclusively for girls raised by wolves, I don’t know.

    I also liked how the children still retain many wolf-like attributes, despite being taught how to behave like humans. They still speak with growling voices, as well as keeping the heightened senses that come from hunting with wolves. At one point the narrator describes putting her ears back. Although I doubt her ears actually moved, I still think that this is a very cool way to describe becoming hostile. The narrator doesn’t actually have to have wolf-like features to display aggression like a wolf.

    Another interesting feature was the character Mirabella. While the other children progressed in their integration into human society, Mirabella continued to act like a wolf. This provides a contrast between how the children are now, and how they were before returning to society. By the end, the other children have graduated the school, while Mirabella is left still acting like a wolf, confused by why her siblings are behaving so strangely.

    Overall, I actually enjoyed reading the story. I was a little confused at the beginning, but by the end, the author had cleared everything up. It was interesting to read about the children’s journey from wolves to humans, as well as their struggles along the way. The concept of the story was definitely very cool, and it was very well written. Altogether, I think it was an awesome short story.

    1. Leah Rego

      Ben, I was very confused initially as well. I agree though that it was a very clever literary device to clarify things to the reader as the girls themselves were starting to understand the rules of their new world.

  10. Leah Rego

    I found Karen Russell’s “St. Lucy’s School for Girls Raised by Wolves” very sad. There was a very clear connection to the missionary schools that used to ‘educate’ native children on how to be civilized. It was certainly a different, being from the point of view of a wolf girl. I was somewhat appalled at the techniques used to convert the wolf girls into more domestic versions of themselves. The story did an excellent job of making me sympathize with Claudette and how hard the process was especially with Mirabella as a constant reminder of her previous existence. I felt so very sad and sorry for little Mirabella though and her miserable existence. Mirabella and Jeanette were such a drastic comparison, but the author did well in showing that truly neither of them were happy as they were. Though I’m not usually a fan of first person stories, I think that in this case it did well to really let the readers feel what Claudette was feeling.

  11. Cassidy Kramer

    I read “Refresh, Refresh” by Benjamin Percy. I thought that this story was very sad. These boys fought to get tougher in the beginning, and at the end they fought to make their dads proud. I think the story’s strengths were definitely the ways that the writer explained things. I am, as I am sure other readers are, very drawn to stories with good detail. I am a visual person, so I like it when I am able to picture the scenario or scene in my head, and follow the characters along their journey. Kind of like a movie. Once a story does have a lot of descriptive details, I am easily drawn to it and start to do the imagining inside of my head. When a story does not show detail from the beginning, like a textbook, it is hard for me to pay attention to what I am reading and I will have to read it over and over and over again.
    The story “Refresh, Refresh” also did a good job at differentiating the characters. You can easily tell which one is Gordon, because he swears and you can tell that he has been hurt because he is meaner than he should be. The narrator character, however, seems nicer, but agrees with what Gordon says because he has also been hurt by his dad.
    I think it is weird that these two boys fight so much. I understand that it is to get tougher, but why can’t they lift weights or do anything else to make them tougher? Although, saying this out helps me realize that they meant they want to be not just strong, but can take a hit from someone else also. I am a big baby, so when it comes to the thought of fighting someone, I cringe at the fact that I might have to hit someone and I will have to get hit.
    I think a weakness in the story is how much the writer lists stuff. When a list goes on for a long time, like his “In Crow we have fifteen hundred people, a Dairy Queen, a BP gas station, a Food-4-Less, a meatpacking plant, a bright-green football field irrigated by canal water, and your standard assortment of taverns and churches.”, I do not think that the list needs to go on that long.
    Overall, I really liked the story, and the writer did a very good job at capturing the feelings of teenage boys who are sad. People don’t normally write about the feelings of men, so I liked reading something different that I know nothing about.

  12. Naimy Schommer

    “Refresh Refresh” is curdling. It evokes a sense of emptiness that comes from the deterioration of the human spirit and explores the fundamental relationships young men have with each other and their fathers. This story is eerily set in a town where most able-bodied men, most male influencers in society, have been removed and sent off to war under dangerous conditions. This creates a hole in the community that can’t be filled by the Dave Lightener types or the young men missing their fathers. This story shows the deterioration of the town as a whole, and how that, in turn, impacts the members of the community. These boys are too young to fill their fathers’ place in the community and too old to just simply overlook the emptiness left behind. They struggle and fight and drink but they can’t make their fathers return.
    My favorite passage in this piece describes why the boys don’t get carded when buying alcohol in a neighboring town. It says: “Nobody asked for our IDs and when we held up our empty bottles and stared at our reflections in the glass, warped and ghostly, we knew why. And we weren’t alone. Black bags grew beneath the eyes of the sons and daughters and wives of Crow, their shoulders stooped, wrinkles enclosing their mouths like parentheses.” Another passage that really stuck out to me was: “Our fathers haunted us. They were everywhere: in the grocery store when we spotted a thirty-pack of Coors on sale for ten bucks; on the highway when we passed a jacked-up Dodge with a dozen hay bales stacked in its bed; in the sky when a jet roared by, reminding us of faraway places. And now, as our bodies thickened with muscle, as we stopped shaving and grew patchy beards, we saw our fathers even in the mirror. We began to look like them. Our fathers, who had been taken from us, were everywhere, at every turn, imprisoning us.” I think this section very clearly shows how the act of waiting is so drawn out and ner-ending that it holds the individual captive and submissive.
    Overall, this piece is moving and captivating and while I didn’t enjoy reading it because of the sad subject matter, it does evoke emotions and thoughts from the reader which should be thought about and dwelt on.

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