In Whirligig, where has Brent lived before?  

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In some respects, Brent's epic journey across the United States in Whirligig is a continuation of the itinerant lifestyle he's already been leading. Brent's father works for a car-rental company, and his job involves moving around a lot. Before moving to the suburbs of Chicago where he now lives, Brent and his family lived in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to that, they lived in Connecticut.

It's interesting that these locations are so far apart from each other—Midwest, South, and New England respectively. They foreshadow the huge distances that Brent must travel as part of his unique punishment for killing a young woman while driving under the influence. On his journey, he will need to construct whirligigs at all four corners of mainland America: Maine, Washington State, Florida, and California.

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We learn most of this information in the first chapter, “Party Time.” Brent and his parents live in the Chicago area now. They had moved here from Atlanta, because Brent’s father was promoted within his job for a car-rental company. As we continue reading into other chapters, we find out that they had also once lived in Connecticut at some point. Brent’s father’s new salary allows Brent the opportunity to go to a private school. Since the school attracts students from all over the Chicagoland region, the party that Brent goes to is some distance and a fair drive away from his home. The highway system around there can indeed be confusing to newcomers who may not know where they are going.

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