Merry Christmas Eve!! These annotations posts have been such a fun project for me, and I’m excited to keep going with them in 2020! This week, we’re flashing forward to mid-Chapter Four, Christmas with the Claremonts! And PLEASE don’t forget to check back in next week, when we’ll finally get to one of the very best scenes of the book: New Year’s Eve!
If you’re late to the game, make sure you go back and check out entries 1-4 before the new year, so we can all start back up where we left off in January, mid-Chapter Two.
“She’s doing the thing she always does when she’s about to spend time with his father: pursing her lips and twitching two fingers of her right hand.”
Ellen was a chainsmoker basically up until the moment she got pregnant with June.
“Alex and his mother share a look. Their family is so predictable sometimes.”
There are a lot of reasons June is closer with their dad and Alex is closer with their mom, but part of it will always be: June was born in California, Alex was born in Texas.
“Oscar does laugh, then, enjoying his brazenness. He is an adrenaline junkie—mountain climbing, cave diving, pissing off Alex’s mother. Flirting with death, basically.”
The truth is…Oscar is a DILF.
“Zahra’s heading to New Orlean’s to see her family for Christmas, only at the president’s insistence, and only because her sister had a baby and Amy threatened to stab her is she didn’t deliver the onesie she knitted. Which means Christmas dinner is happening on Christmas Eve so Zahra won’t miss is. For all her late nights cursing their names, Zahra is family.”
Zahra is from New Orleans and approached Ellen for a job after graduating top of her class at Howard because she was annoyed with DC people and wanted to help another progressive Southern woman make a difference.
“The last thing we need to do is remind them that I’m divorced by parading my ex-husband around.”
The idea of Ellen being divorced was suggested to me by a friend whose mom is a badass divorced Texas business woman in the early days of developing this book and I instantly took it and ran.
“His hand twitches for his phone. His brain is a two-passenger minimum ride as far as he’s concerned–alone and busy or thinking with company.”
This is the biggest self-drag I wrote in this book.
“Henry’s got his candy-cane jim-jams on–“
British readers have expressed their appreciation for this line.
“There’s a long pause before Henry says, “Hang on. Bea, can I have a minute? Hush. Yes, you can take the biscuits. All right, I’m listening.”
Bea definitely knows about his huge embarrassing crush.
“He hangs up and tosses the phone aside as June settles down on the bed.”
Picture Henry, having just had a serious personal conversation dumped on him in the middle of the night by his crush, abruptly hung up on, in his candy cane pajamas, absolutely reeling.
MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY HANUKKAH and if you’re not celebrating anything HAVE A NICE DAY