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One Foot Wrong

One Foot Wrong
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US$ 12.95
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The stars shine brightest out of the deepest dark . . .” A child is imprisoned in a house by her reclusive, religious parents. Hester Wakefield has never spoken to another child, nor seen the outside world. Her one possession is an illustrated children’s Bible, and its imagery forms the sole basis for her capacity to make poetic, real-life connections. Her companions at home are Cat, Spoon, Door, Handle, Broom, and Tree, and they all speak to her, sometimes telling her what to do. One day she takes a brave Alice in Wonderland trip into the forbidden outside, at the behest of Handle, and this overwhelming encounter with light and sky and sunshine is a marvel to her. From this moment on, Hester learns that there are some things she cannot tell her parents, and she keeps this secret to herself. Hester buries it among her other secrets, the ones that take place in the shadowy corners of her insular world, and she keeps them all locked inside her as they multiply and grow, waiting until she can find other ways to be free.

One Foot Wrong
challenges the boundaries of right and wrong, sanity and madness, love and justice, poetry and life. The story told by Hester is often dark and harrowing, but the affecting impact of her distinctive voice and her way of seeing the world illuminates every page and makes this novel an exhilarating, enlightening and, ultimately, an uplifting and transformative experience.
Other Press; August 2009
176 pages; ISBN 9781590513347
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Excerpt
I slept at the feet of Boot and Sack. My one small bed went longways across the end of their big one. If I turned my head in the night and the moon was shining through, I could see the hill of Boot’s feet beside my face. Sack’s feet I couldn’t see but I knew they were there–no shoes, tipped-over and sleeping. Every night Sack pulled my blankets tight around me, pressing me down. “Lie still, Hester, not a peep from you, not a wriggle.” Every night I lay on my back looking up through the dark at the grey paint cloud, at its cracks in the shapes of wings, and the white curtain sometimes blowing.

Cat was there and together we’d wait for the bird dream. Cat’s bird dream was hiding in the long grass, a fast chase and a jump. In my bird dream everything was white without walls. Bird sang and flew and so did I. Then bird became many birds. Every part of me moved with the many birds–my fingers, hair, and toes all swirled and twirled in bird circles. Which was me and which was bird?

A secret has no sound; it lives in your darkest corner where it sits and waits.
Sometimes it gives a jump or a wriggle but mostly it waits like the spider waits for the fly. A secret grows thick like the ball of web the spider weaves around the fly when he makes the trap. Fly can’t breathe or smell in there–his world sticks against his face, small as his own eyes.
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ISBNs
1590513347
9781590513163
9781590513347