In Walk Two Moons, how does Phoebe's story relate to Sal's?

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In Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, Phoebe's story relates to Sal's in that Phoebe's mother leaves, just as Sal’s mother leaves. There is an important difference, however. Phoebe’s mother finally returns. Nevertheless, during the period when she is gone and Phoebe does not know where she is, they are sympathetic to one another about how they feel regarding their absent mothers.

Sal recognizes the similarity in their stories. When she thinks about Phoebe and Mrs. Winterbottom, it reminds her of her own story. She says,

My father started chipping away at a plaster wall in the living room of our house in Bybanks, shortly after my mother left us one April morning ... Each night, as he waited to hear from my mother, he chipped away at that wall.

On the night that we got the bad news—that she was not returning—he pounded and pounded on that wall with a chisel and a hammer. ...

The reason that Phoebe's story reminds me of that plaster wail and the hidden fireplace is that beneath Phoebe's...

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