In RUDE AWAKENINGS-An Adolescent's Search for Love-Sandy has moved from Wilber, Nebraska, to Manilla, Iowa. Once a champion of hollyhocks and swimming holes and the open fields, she now discards her sneakers and butterfly net and, like a child in wild anticipation, embarks upon an adolescent's sentimental journey-a search for love. Her exploration of this bizarre and confusing landscape begins with TRAIN RIDE. Mama's mixed messages about right and wrong cause Sandy to ponder what good girls do and don't do. In SWEET SIXTEEN, Sandy's sixteenth birthday becomes the turning point for letting go of Mama's apron strings and cutting ties with her spiritual upbringing and the Church. Daddy's untimely death and Mama's mental breakdown, force Sandy to say GOODBYE DAD, HELLO MOM. At the onset of her senior year of high school, Sandy moves to Paullina, Iowa, graduates, and then becomes her mother's caretaker for the next forty years. Earmarked by a struggle for survival, Sandy's college years are difficult. However, one of the few pleasant distractions from studying is a DANCIN' FOOL-a handsome Irish-Catholic gay boy, fondly known as twinkle toes-who isn't afraid to foxtrot his way out of a confrontation with his bullying peers. Another is Bloody Mary, a risqué young woman who offers Sandy some comic relief as well as a little healthy rebellion in THE MEANING OF BIRDCAGE. It's all Greek to Sandy until her philosophy professor exposes her to his not so lofty ideas. All this fun and frolic culminates with MR. GRAY TIE-Sandy's SECOND CHOICE for a husband. On her birthday a year later, when Sandy returns to Iowa to visit her mother, she gets an unexpected call from her first choice. Too little, too late. Somewhere in between all of these escapades, Sandy's loss of innocence causes her to wonder, Why did I decide to roam?
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