In Tuck Everlasting, why can't the Tucks stay in any one place for very long?

In Tuck Everlasting, the Tucks cannot stay in one place for very long because they are immortal and do not age. If they stayed in one place, their neighbors would notice this and become suspicious.

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In Natalie Babbitt's Tuck Everlasting , Winnie Foster meets Jesse Tuck near her home in Treegap, New Hampshire. Jesse appears to be about seventeen years old, but he tells Winnie that he is really 104 and has gained immortality and eternal youth by drinking water from a spring in...

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In Natalie Babbitt's Tuck Everlasting, Winnie Foster meets Jesse Tuck near her home in Treegap, New Hampshire. Jesse appears to be about seventeen years old, but he tells Winnie that he is really 104 and has gained immortality and eternal youth by drinking water from a spring in the woods close to Treegap. His mother, father, and brother have become immortal in the same way, and he warns Winnie not to drink from the spring.

The Tucks cannot remain in one place for too long because, at some point, the people around them will inevitably notice that they never grow any older. They tell Winnie about a time in the past when this happened. Miles, Jesse's older brother, was married, and the family had been settled on a farm for about twenty years. However, Miles's wife became increasingly suspicious that he never appeared to become any older, and she came to believe that he must have sold his soul to the devil. Their friends and neighbors reached similar conclusions, and the Tucks had to leave for their own safety. Since that time, they have been careful to move around regularly and not to maintain any close ties or friendships, for fear that their secret will be discovered.

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"But they can't stay on in any one place for long, you know. None of us can. People get to wondering." She sighed. "We been in this house about as long as we dare, going on twenty years."

The above quote comes from chapter ten of Tuck Everlasting. Mae Tuck is explaining to Winnie how the family has been operating for just about the last century. They get together at their current home every ten years in order to spend time together as a full family. The Tucks' "current home" must change with regularity, though. Mae says that they never stay in one place for more than twenty years. The Tuck family can't stay longer than that because people would begin to get suspicious about the neighbor family that doesn't appear to age—at all. The Tucks tell Winnie what happened the last time they were in the same area for nearly twenty years: The residents began thinking the Tuck family were witches and devil worshipers.

"I was married. I had two children. But, from the look of me, I was still twenty-two. My wife, she finally made up her mind I'd sold my soul to the Devil. She left me. She went away and she took the children with her."

"I'm glad I never got married," Jesse put in.

"It was the same with our friends," said Mae. "They come to pull back from us. There was talk about witchcraft. Black magic. Well, you can't hardly blame them, but finally we had to leave the farm.

The Tucks can't stay in any one place for very long because they are concerned about their own safety and well-being and don't want to frighten other people.

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