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Visible Amazement

Visible Amazement

Meet Roanne Chappell -- definitely not your ordinary teenage girl. A product of the loving but decidedly unorthodox guardianship of her mother, Del, Roanne is a fascinating study in contrasts. Equal parts bold seductress and wide-eyed innocent, smart-ass teenager and wizened sage, she is an outlandish, charismatic, and wholly inspired creation. Unabashedly outspoken (and an increasingly accomplished flirt), Roanne quietly longs for escape -- particularly from her mother's overwhelming and over-powering shadow.
Her chance comes after she discovers, much to her horror, that the professor she had slept with is also bedding her mother. "I just can't seem to stop feeling like one of those air-sucking dogs people leave in cars with the windows open just a tiny bit. I need to put my whole face, my whole self, in the air for a while to try and figure out who I am when I'm not standing next to my amazing mum."
To clear her head, Roanne begins a journey and goes from feeling like an outsider to being embraced by a very special group of people -- people whom most others have found strange or different but with whom Roanne feels right at home. From a marriage proposal by the teenage son of the founders of the Christian Rebirth Center, to her relationship with new best friend Gilbey Tarr -- the sixteen-year-old "Teenage Goddess from Outer Space" -- to a reunion with Dickie Siggins -- international pop star and her mother's life-long friend -- to a bittersweet reconciliation with Del, Roanne soars headfirst into a world of tragedy and comedy, and in the process learns about life, love, and death -- and everything in between.
With this richly satisfying debut novel, Gale Zoë Garnett has channeled Roanne's outsized passions into a tightly crafted and powerfully moving narrative, charting a journey to lands unknown, emotions untapped, and experience unforeseen.
Visible Amazement injects contemporary fiction with welcome jolts of crackling humor and unexpected drama. Written in a totally original and unique voice, the novel, like its heroine, is delightful, disturbing, and utterly unforgettable.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743214711 | 
  • April 2001
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Chapter One

We'd been in Oregon for two months. On the coast, in a neat little house in the woods. The town's called Yachats, an Indian word. Pronounced "YaHOTS." I was born in England, but have lived in Canada since age four. We came down from Vancouver when Del had a sculpture show in a Yachats gallery. The show sold well and Del was offered a job teaching summertime Adult Extension sculpture classes at a college not far away, in Eugene. I got to make some money too, being her model, which I've done, on and off, since I was little.
It was there, in Eugene, where I met Marcus. I had finished modelling for Del's 2-to-4-o'clock class.... see more

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