Chapter III

45 – 58

After Cecilia’s death, the people of the suburb send flowers or come to see the Lisbons to show their compassion. In addition, father Moody visits the Lisbons to talk about their feelings and their grief. Later, the boys ask him about his impression of the girls’ emotions and if the girls have ever told him about how they feel about Cecilia’s death.

The boys get more and more interested in the girls because they are secretive and mysterious. They hear stories about the girls stealing clothes in Eastland and Lux talking to a motorcycle gang to go for a ride, what makes these girls even more desirable.

The whole neighbourhood, amongst others the fathers of the boys, walk to the Lisbons’ house to remove and destroy the fence, so that nobody can jump on it anymore and hurt themselves, like Cecilia has done. The four-wheel-drive Bronco does this job, while the Lisbons do not show any interest in this demolition.

The windows and the walls are cleaned by the boys and because of that fact they get the first real insight into the Lisbon daughters’ lives. Every minute they have a little spare time they take the chance to watch the girls doing something ordinary.

Mr. Lisbon does everything which is expected of him. He joins in the neighbourly duty and tries to see to his parental business. The father of the girls, however, does not know how to handle his daughters and how to talk to them and he does not even know what to say to them without saying something wrong and evoking some memories about Cecilia’s suicide.

58 – 84

Mr. Lisbon listens to the sounds which come out of the girls` room and says later that he could not go in.

After leaving the bathroom, he sees Cecilias`ghost and thinks that he has to shut the window. When he runs towards the window the ghost turns and it turns out to be only Bonnie, wrapped in a bedsheet.

Later Mr. and Mrs. Lisbon are called to a second consultation, but they do not go. (WITH WHOM? WHERE?)

By late August Mr. Lisbon starts leaving the house by the backdoor, just sits in his car and returns at six o`clock.

The only extensive contact with the girls occurs late in August, when Mary goes to the dentist. She goes on her own because she worries her parents would not be able to pay for it.

On September 7, Mary, Bonnie, Lux and Therese come to school as nothing has happened but wearing their old clothes. When sitting down, they leave a seat empty saving it for Cecilia.

The girls and Mr. Lisbon do not miss a single day in school, but Mr. Lisbon now always enters through the main door and goes into his classroom. The girls always take the side door. Julie Freeman has always been Mary`s best friend, but after the suicide they stop talking and Mary starts going out with Todd.

Nobody knows what is going on with the girls, what they are thinking or feeling, but they are receding from the other girls (WHICH ONES?) and their father.

It is the first time the boys actually start talking to the Lisbon girls again after Cecilia’s suicide; the first one to try it is Mike Orriyo who manages to speak a few words with Mary whose locker is next to his.
Chip Willard and some other boys (characterized as the stupidest and most selfish ones who definitely were no good and reliable sources about what happened) even succeed in having their ‘days of going steady with Lux’ (p.64). But those are only short relations, Trip Fontaine is the first one to gain Lux’s attention a little longer.
Trip Fontaine has returned as a man and the ‘delight of girls and women alike’ (p.65) from his holiday trip to Acapulco after going there as baby fat (???) in the first place. He has also discovered his taste for marijuana, what actually makes him meet Lux. After smoking in his Trans Am he comes across the headmaster Mr. Woodhouse and has to hide. He chooses Lux’s history class to hide and even sits down in the row behind her; she turns around and just looks at him without saying a word. This stuns the completely stoned Trip so that he wants to talk to her.
After driving up and down in front of her house to get her attention and some tips from his father, he tries subtlety and approaches her during the assembly. It is a simple touch of their arms that gets him near her. He even becomes the second guy ever to visit the Lisbon house alone. But the evening is spent sitting on the couch watching TV, closely supervised by her parents and sisters. Nevertheless Lux surprises Trip in his Trans Am after the visit. He claims this to be the only time that they touched, but it was enough for Mrs. Lisbon to refuse further visits and for Mr. Lisbon to watch them closely in school. She was perhaps observed sneaking back inside the house by the mother.

Anna, Tobias

84 – 89

Lux is searching for love and thinks that she could find it in physical affection by having sex.
The Lisbons house slwoly dilapidates and becomes ramshackle because they do not seem to care for it any longer.
In contrast to the other children the Lisbon sisters do not leave the house any time.
The boys are observing the girls by sitting on the top of the trees but now in autumn the leaves drop down and so they have no covering anymore.

After that the boys clean up the falen leaves in the gardens of the neighbourhood. Mr. Lisbon, who has always cleaned up his garden himself, does not do this during the suicides. So there is grumbling amongst the neighbours because the wind blows the Libons’ leaves to the other houses. His own house looks dark and unhappy with the garden full of the brown leaves like a field of mud.

Katha, Sara

89 – 110

There are articles in the newspaper by Linda Perl about Cecilias suicide and suicide in general. Even “Television crews come by to film the increasingly dreary exterior of the Lisbon house” (93) in order to show it on TV. As a consequence the taboo to talk about suicide is broken.

Mrs Woodhouse, the headmaster’s wife, has the idea to organise a “Day of Grieving”. Everybody in the media speaks about Cecilia’s death, but nobody in school does. So teachers and pupils have to work in groups, and there is also a christian message of death and rebirth by Reverend Pike. Pupils “played games where they envisioned themselves as architectural structures” (101) in order to help them to get themselves better.

Lynn Kilsem, the psychological counselor, comes to school in order to talk to pupils who have problems. Only the Lisbon girls and Muffie Perry visit her. Muffie Perry was assigned by the boys to find out what the Lisbon girls are talking about with the counselor, but he does not succeed. The girls feel better and are happier because of the dialogue with Miss Kilsem.

Trip asks Mr Lisbon in school if he could go out with his daughter Lux. When he refuses, Trip proposes all Lisbon girls to go out with the boys to the dance after the big Homecoming game. After this Mr Lisbon tells him to propose this to his wife by saying “I will do what I can.” (110)

Katharina K. und Steffi

110 – 135
Trip Fontaine wants to go out with Lux to the Homecoming event and needs three guys for the other girls. All of the boys want to offer him things to become the choosen ones. Mrs Lisbon allows the girls to go with the boys who won under three conditions: 1. They should go in a group 2. They are only allowed to go to the dance and 3. They must be at home by eleven.
Lux is very happy about that but the other girls just want to know who the boys are and go with them just to help Lux.

Trip and Lux have to hide their relationship in school because Mr. Lisbon could see them. Lux has to secretly clean her underwear because of the “Trips” on it.

Before the Homecoming the girls are dressed up and waiting for the boys. While the mother talks to the boys and scanns them the girls used to say that they are not ready at that time.
After deciding which girl goes with which boy they went to the Homecoming. While they are driving they talk about every house and the persons who live in, which shows that the girls are observing their neighbours like the boys the girls. Later Lux is smoking in the car and takes a mint that her father does not smell it.

While Kevin and Mary are dancing, Lux and Trip move into the gym to be alone. Bonnie and Joe follow them, being afraid that somebody could see them. Trip had a bottle with peach schnapps and after drinking, he kisses Lux. Joe and Bonnie also kiss each other. After going back out of the gym, Lux dances with Trip and they win as King and Queen for this evening. The Lisbon girls are having “the best time of [their lives]” (page 127). At ten-thirty, the girls have to go home. Mr. Lisbon has already left.

Lux and Trip are away. The other girls and boys are searching for them but at last they drive home without them. On that way Bonnie and Joe kiss each other. Two hours later, Lux comes home in a cab. Her father realizes this and talks to her (ABOUT?), but no one knows what he is saying. The girls are now locked up again.


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