Places Discussed

(Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)

Lake Glass Therapy Center

Lake Glass Therapy Center. Place where Caroline has lengthy therapy sessions with Hannah Burke that develop the major themes of the novel. Noting the brown tweed couch, bookshelves, photographs of children, and poorly tended fern in Hannah’s office, Caroline initially believes she cannot be helped in such a shallow, comfortable, conventionally suburban atmosphere. However, the sign on Hannah’s office door, “Thank you for shutting up while I smoke,” is indicative of Hannah’s refreshing honesty and self-acceptance—characteristics that the unconventional and rebellious Caroline lacks. During sessions that take place over several months, Caroline eventually recognizes not only her inability to be truthful with herself, but also the presence of suffering everywhere. In the office, Caroline discovers that the apparently comfortable and secure Hannah has suffered the loss of parents to abandonment and death and the loss of two children to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.

Caroline Kelly’s home

Caroline Kelly’s home. Cabin near Lake Glass. Caroline shares the cabin with Diana and her daughter Sharon, occupying the first floor with her sons, Jackie and Jason. Caroline’s on-again, off-again relationship with Diana, indicative of her confused sexual identity, and her frustrations as a single mother, are dramatized in the cozy cabin. Beside Caroline’s bed stands a loom where...

(The entire section is 471 words.)