Road Signs That Say West
by Sylvia Gunnery (Author)
Booktalk: It’s Hanna’s wild idea, of course: take their mom’s car, pack up the tent, and drive across the country. Just three sisters, one guitar, and a coast-to-coast highway. They can be home again before their parents are back from Europe. She doesn’t say she wants to forget about what happened in Italy, and at university. Claire doesn’t say she keeps having nightmares about her friend’s recent suicide. Megan doesn’t say much, unless it’s a complaint. But maybe they all feel, somehow, that this is their one chance to do something together, something big, before time begins to scatter them.
Snippet: The security doors slide shut.
“There. That’s it,” says Hanna. “Mom and Dad are off on their trip of a lifetime.” She pulls the car keys out of her shorts pocket and jingles them like toy bells. “And so are we!” She turns and heads toward the exit.
Megan is right behind her. “What are you talking about?”
“So are we?” Claire stops scrolling through the pictures she’s taken.
“Listen,” says Hanna in that authoritative voice only the oldest sister could pull off, “a house is a house, not a person. It doesn’t need anyone to look after it.” She keeps walking toward the exit. “What are we supposed to do that the alarm system can’t?”
“We’re supposed to do exactly what Mom and Dad told us. House-sit while they’re in Europe.” As usual, Megan attempts to be the voice of reason. As usual, it comes across as sarcasm wrapped in a thin gauze of disdain.
“What trip, Hanna?” asks Claire.
“A road trip from sea to sea.” The automatic doors slide open and she walks out, “Atlantic to Pacific. Halifax to Vancouver.”
“Are you insane?” Megan’s voice is now up a few decibels. “Mom and Dad would never agree to this!”
“That’s why she didn’t ask,” said Claire.
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