‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays is a special seasonal feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which some of my favourite authors help me to celebrate the spirit of the season and spread a little holiday cheer. So, pour yourself a cup of hot chocolate and snuggle in by the fireside as they answer the question: “What does the holiday season mean to you?” You can find a complete list of the participants and their scheduled guest post dates Here!
About Kathleen Glasgow
Kathleen Glasgow is the author of the New York Times bestseller Girl In Pieces (Delacorte, 2016). She lives in Tucson, Arizona and is a researcher for The Writer’s Almanac radio show. Her next novel for young adults will be published in Fall 2017.
This is a photograph of me, my sister, and my brother. My sister is in the middle. I think we were in Washington, D.C. I think we were at the apartment of one of my father’s friends. The friend was an amateur magician; we were having fun. The magician wore big glasses and made balloon animals. The adults wore turtlenecks and sipped wine and smoked cigarettes.
My sister committed suicide five days after my first child was born. I’m now older than she was when she died. Siblings can drift apart as they get older, for a variety of reasons. There are always reasons. Sometimes they can drift back. Sometimes, you can reach out and catch them, and they don’t wiggle away. My sister, though, dropped off the map for a long time and when we found her, we could not catch hold of her.
I miss her all the time, not just during holidays. She’s a hole inside me that can’t ever be filled. A series of what ifs and if onlys and why didn’t I’s.
I have a job for you. It’s not hard. This holiday season, and the next, and the next, or really, anytime at all, why don’t you reach out and try to grab hold of those who are slipping away? Why don’t you reach out to those who have fallen, and help them to stand? While you’re busy buying new clothes and toys, why not bag up the old ones and take them to a shelter, where clothes and toys and books and boots are always needed?
The next time you head to the store for chocolate and wine and maybe some tiny, sweet fairy lights to string on your mantle, why not add some boxes of tampons and pads, packages of new underwear in a few different sizes, new socks, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and take them to a shelter or teen outreach center? Outreach workers hand out health and hygiene supplies on the streets for the homeless.
I’ll bet you have some nice clothes you no longer wear that might be perfect for women or men who are interviewing for jobs and don’t have much money for interview clothes. There are lots of places that need clothes like that. Maybe you could even volunteer somewhere: serve food, stock shelves, sew holes in gloves, change beds, talk to those who haven’t been talked to nicely in days, weeks, years.
Maybe you could reach out to a person in your family who’s slipped away. The one everyone murmurs about over warm dinners and cups of coffee. The longer we let people go, the farther away they get.
You can catch hold of people with just the tiniest gesture. You can bring them back to you. You could bring them back to someone else, someone you don’t even know. You just never know what one small act of kindness can do.
You never know.
Title Girl In Pieces
Author Kathleen Glasgow
Pages 416 Pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre & Keywords Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Published August 30th, 2016 by Delacorte Press
Find It On Goodreads ● Amazon.com ● Chapters ● The Book Depository
Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.
Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.