My favorite imagery from the novel has to do with the trees. I like the way that growth must happen, but sometimes (to grow) some pruning must be done.
It is not until Melinda cleans up her yard, tearing out dead leaves, branches, and undergrowth that is choking the plants and trees which should be healthy enough to survive. Unfortunately, they cannot (like Melinda) because of the deadness which surrounds them.
All of this culminates in the following quote:
If this tree really lives someplace, that branch better drop soon, so it doesn't kill the whole thing. The new part is the best part. (196)
This is by far my favorite quote of the novel.
I think this is a good quote to illustrate Melinda's tortured state as she lives with the experience she has been through and the emotional fallout that has been the result-
'I know my head isn't screwed on straight. I want to leave, transfer, warp myself into another galaxy. I want to confess everything, hand over the guilt and mistake and anger to someone else. There's a beast in my gut, I can hear it scraping away at the inside of my ribs. Even if i dump the memory, it will stay with me, staining me.' (p51)