Summary – Section Five ‘Thanksgiving’, Chapter One
This final section begins with Jeannette and her second husband, John, waiting for a train. They were waiting for Mom and Lori and it was now five years since Dad had died. In this time, Jeannette had met John and bought a country farmhouse. It was John’s idea to invite her family to Thanksgiving and this was their first get together since Dad died.
After meeting them at the station, they drove to her house and when they pulled into their drive Jessica (who was John’s 15-year-old daughter from his first marriage) came out with Brian and his eight-year-old daughter, Veronica. He had become a decorated sergeant detective and had separated from his wife around the time that Jeannette had from Eric. He had since renovated a second house.
When the food was ready, Brian said how it was really not that hard ‘“to put food on the table if that’s what you decide to do”’. Lori said, ‘“now, no recriminations”’ and they sat down for dinner.
At the table, Mom told them her good news, which was that as she had been a squatter for almost 15 years the city had finally decided to sell her and the other squatters their apartments for one dollar apiece. She also said she had been in touch with Maureen. She was still in California, and Jeannette had not spoken to her since she left, but was thinking of coming back for a visit.
After they talked about Dad and his ‘great escapades’, their Mom said how life with him was never boring and they toasted him: ‘A wind picked up, rattling the windows, and the candle flames suddenly shifted, dancing along the border between turbulence and order.’
Analysis – Section Five ‘Thanksgiving’, Chapter One
This final section is the means for tying up any loose ends and reveals that Maureen has not been in touch with Jeannette since she moved to California. The last word of this work is unsurprisingly given over to their father, though, and despite the chaos he brought to the family Jeannette is careful to also show that the ‘border between turbulence and order’ was never dull.