In chapter 9 of Virginia Sorensen’s novel Miracles on Maple Hill, Marly eavesdrops on a tense discussion between her parents. They are trying to figure out if they should leave Maple Hill or stay and what to do about the kids’ schooling. Marly is enamored with Maple Hill and is excited at the possibility of staying. Joe, her brother, does not want to stay in Maple Hill. If he had it his way, he’d be back in Pittsburg, attending a large school where he could be with lots of people and play in the school’s band. Indeed, as the family was packing, Joe was whistling with excitement.
Unfortunately for Joe, Marly is about to tell him that they are staying in Maple Hill—at least, that’s what she thinks. She first tells him as if it’s a forgone conclusion. Soon, she admits that they have to discuss it as a family. After the family talks it over, they figure out that they should actually stay.
Yet there’s bigger news that Marly relays to Joe. Marly finds out from Chris that Joe won’t be attending the funny little school but a big school in town. Marly is excited to tell Joe the news. After dinner, she goes to find Joe at Harry’s place. Alas, when she finally tells Joe about where he’ll be attending school, Joe doesn’t appear to care much. He’s focused on Harry and his two new goats.