Short Essay Questions Key
1. Who is the woman who shows up at Martha Boyle's front door at the beginning of the story and what does the woman give to Martha?
In Chapter 1, "A Beginning," Martha Boyle answers her front door to find a woman standing there. The woman introduces herself as Olive Barstow's mother, a fact that makes Martha gasp. The woman says that she doesn't know if Martha really knew Olive well, but that Olive had left a journal. The woman then gives Martha a page of the journal, saying that she'd wanted her to have it.
2. What must Olive's mother know about her daughter regarding any friendship with Martha?
Olive Barstow's mother tells Martha "thank you" after she's given Martha the page from Olive's journal. Olive's mom obviously knows that Olive wasn't popular with other children and that she hadn't been surrounded by friends. She doesn't know Martha and so apparently realizes that Martha and Olive weren't close.
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