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

Expert Answers
Michael Foster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Phoebe and Sal must both deal with the fact that their mothers voluntarily left their families, though for different reasons. Sal’s mother had a miscarriage and a hysterectomy, which meant she would not be able to have any more children, even though she desperately wanted them. She wanted a house full of children. She begins to question who she is, besides a wife and a mother. She decides to go on a bus trip to visit her cousin in Idaho, someone who knew her when she was a girl. Sal has difficulty, first of all, in understanding why her mother wanted more children. Wasn’t Sal enough? Also, she cannot understand why her mother cannot “find herself” at home with her immediate family.

Phoebe’s mother leaves home to process the sudden appearance of the son whom she gave up for adoption before she was married. Like Sal, Phoebe cannot understand why her mother left, so she makes up a story that her mother was kidnapped against her will, rather than chose to leave.

In the end, the reader learns that Phoebe’s mother returns with her son, but Sal’s mother was killed in a bus accident on her way to Idaho. Sal must come to terms with that death, while Phoebe must come to terms with the fact that she has a brother and that her mother had a whole different life before she was married. In the end, both make the adjustment, though uneasily.