Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
(Smore by Steven McCormick)
Summary of the Novel
Salamanca Hiddle is on a road trip with her grandparents, and along the way, tells them stories about a girl named Phoebe Winterbottom, and the adventures she had with her. As she tells them, Sal begins to realize that her story and Phoebe's are more alike than she had thought.
In the novel Walk Two Moons the author foreshadows many unexpected endings for characters by giving us hints scattered throughout the book.
Mike Bickle is Mrs. Winterbottom's son
Before she had married Mr. Winterbottom, Mrs. Winterbottom had a son, who she had to give up for adoption. He appears in the story, yet we do not know for sure that he is her son. "The young man said,'I want to see Mrs. Winterbottom. Is she here or what?'"(Page 43) Here, Mike is looking for Mrs. Winterbottom. He seemed nervous, just as any boy discovering his birth mother would. "'That's nice,' Mrs. Partridge said, patting her knees. 'Oh , Phoebe, I think I met your brother.'" (Page 193) Mrs. Partridge is blind, but she can tell a lot about how a person looks by feeling their face. Mike had visited her house by mistake, and Mrs. Partridge asked if she could feel his face. She noticed that he and Phoebe had similar faces, meaning that they could be related.
Sal's Mom Dies in a Bus Accident
Sal's mom, who was traveling on a bus to Idaho to "find herself" was killed in a fatal bus accident that left nearly everyone dead. We think that she is simply staying in Idaho, but some things hint that she is actually dead. "Gram and Gramps wanted to see Momma, who was resting peacefully in Lewiston, Idaho." (Page 5) This could mean that Sal's mom is simply staying peacefully in Idaho, but the phrase "resting peacefully" is a bit unusual, and would usually be used for someone deceased. "I had wanted to scour every inch of the bus, looking for something-anything-that might be familiar." Sal was searching a crashed bus, who's occupants had been killed. Sal wouldn't find anything familiar unless her mother was one of those passengers.
Gram, Sal's grandma, is on the road trip with Sal and her grandpa. At one point she is bitten by a poisonous snake, and later, has a stroke. She eventually dies, most likely from the stroke. It seems that she could only be sick and weak from the snakebite, but a few hints let us know that she will not be returning alive. "Gram said, 'I don't know what's the matter with me. I don't feel like going to sleep at all.'" (Page 217) Gram has been feeling very restless for a few nights, yet she seems like she should be very tired. Something is suspicious about this. "Gramps tried to wake Gram when he saw the lake. The doctors said she had had a stroke." This is quite self explanatory. Gram having is a stroke would take a serious toll on her health, and most likely her life.
Although the endings of certain characters were surprising, it doesn't mean that some keen readers couldn't at least have suspicions as to what would happen. Using subtle hints Sharon Creech gives away three major endings to main characters, Mike being Phoebe's brother, Sal's mom's demise, and Gram's stroke and subsequent death.