Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)
The more we learn about Powell the more you have to question why anyone stays? Drugs seem to be a major commodity, you got men like Liam running things, and it seems like the type of area where there is nothing but trouble. If only because, what is there to do besides drink, do drugs, have sex, or fight for amusement?
Chapter 4: Wavy
In this chapter, we meet Mrs. Norton, Wavy’s 6th-grade teacher. She is a force to be reckoned with and is your usual teacher who doesn’t deal with children who aren’t as obedient as dogs. So, needless to say, with Wavy barely speaking and not eating as she commands, she marks up her report card with negative marks.
It, in fact, comes to the point that Kellen feels the need to step in. However, with Mrs. Norton not recognizing his place in Wavy’s life, and her knowing his family, she is dismissive and pays him little mind.
The only thing noteworthy of this chapter is Kellen mentioning his brother and that he is in jail. Mrs. Norton doesn’t appear for the rest of the book and while it was interesting that the kids note Wavy has a reputation for being quiet, the kids in her class don’t play much of a role either.
Chapter 5: Miss Degrassi – December 1980
It is around the time John Lennon died and Ms. Degrassi decides to go out. However, being that she isn’t in New York or someplace which would take note of Lennon’s death, she just ends up in a party. One where she mixes up Kellen for Liam and meets Liam for but a second. It is noted by Kellen that he looks like a rockstar. Also, she reveals she is from Connecticut and we learn Kellen is 24.
Being that Ms. Degrassi is one of those characters who, like Mrs. Norton, don’t have a huge impact on the book, I must admit I question the purpose of featuring her and her point of view. Especially when it comes to listening to her wish she was back in Connecticut, how much she hates Powell was tiresome and her mourning John Lennon. But, things got better when Kellen showed up. He revealed he is 24, we learned Liam looks like a movie star, I picture an Owen Wilson or Ryan Gosling type, and later on he heads to Wavy’s and finds she made him a cake for his birthday. Oh, and we learn Val hates his guts. Not sure why, considering he is taking care of her child without asking for anything monetary wise, but she does.
Things to Note
Kellen, while hanging out with Ms. Degrassi, goes to a bar and we see the kind of racism he experiences. As well as learn more about his reputation for beating the hell out of people.
Chapter 6: Kellen – July 1981
Kellen decides to take Wavy to a race track and we learn that both he and Wavy love speeding down a road. What we also learn is that Wavy is growing. Kellen describes her legs as getting longer and believes she’ll be a leggy woman like Val is. In fact, there is a certain maturity which makes Kellen a bit worried about bringing her around these racing types.
However, the real thing to be worried about are the people who, once again, decide to test Kellen, despite his size. You see, a sore loser decides to kick Kellen’s car and when Kellen goes to grab him the guy backs up and bumps into Wavy. Now, since she doesn’t like to be touched, she naturally pushes him off and he smacks her. Leading to, as you can imagine, Kellen going nuclear.
Leading to, later that night, cops harassing him about the incident as if he started it. Things especially get bad since they question why is Wavy with him, so they both are taken down to the station and talk about calling child protective services. Luckily, one of Liam’s nicer girlfriends, Sandy, was up and willing to pretend to be Val. Something Liam doesn’t appreciate since he is one jealous guy. He thinks Sandy was screwing around and so he hit her. Kellen stops a second blow hitting Sandy and gets one himself for the effort. But, as before, Kellen knows how to calm down Liam and does so by talking about the car and the races it won.
This is the chapter, for me, when things start to get a tad eyebrow-raising for Kellen and Wavy’s relationship. For, in the past, it seemed things were one-sided. Wavy liked Kellen because he was there and dependable. Yet, with him having her kiss him near the mouth, terms of affection that I personally wouldn’t be comfortable some man, even if they were my brother, saying to my kid, it is hard to not raise an eyebrow. Though with not being well-versed on raising a daughter or growing up with a sister, maybe it is just my pessimistic side showing.
That thought aside, I feel like I’m more and more understanding how Liam has all these women who he treats like crap. First off, he is handsome and who knows how many can own that adjective in Powell, but on top of that, it seems his business, as likely said, is one of the big money makers. After all, he is having drugs shipped throughout the region and seemingly local gangs have taken note. To the point that Kellen’s life was put in danger. Yet, with these risks come rewards. So it seems from Val to the rest of Liam’s women, as well as Kellen, everyone is just placating the beast who gives golden eggs.
Things to Note
Sandy is explained as having hair as blonde as Wavy’s, with her hair big, 80s big, and that she liked wearing lots of makeup and form-fitting clothes.
We learn Kellen has a sister who taught him to braid hair. Making one sibling, his younger brother, in jail, and also him having a sister.