Chapter 2 Summary
Almost as soon as Margaret’s family arrives at the new house, a girl named Nancy Wheeler knocks on the door and invites her over.
Nancy turns out to be quite intimidating. She brags that her breasts are beginning to develop and points out that Margaret’s are still flat. Nancy has an impressive make-up collection, but she is not allowed to wear make-up outside yet. She claims to be a good kisser, too, because she practices on her pillow all the time. However, she admits she has never kissed an actual boy. This comes as a relief to Margaret, who has never kissed a boy either.
At Nancy’s house, Margaret meets Nancy’s mom, Mrs. Wheeler. Mrs. Wheeler gives Margaret “the third degree” about her father’s insurance job and her mother’s artwork. When Mrs. Wheeler offers to let Margaret join the Sunday school carpool, Margaret says she does not go to church. Mrs. Wheeler seems surprised; Nancy, embarrassed, drags Margaret away.
Out in the front yard, the girls play in the sprinkler until Nancy’s fourteen-year-old brother Evan sprays them hard as a joke. This makes Nancy mad, and she runs inside to tattle. Meanwhile, Margaret is left alone with Evan and his friend Moose. She regards them suspiciously, wrapping her towel tightly around her. Nancy has claimed that boys their age think of nothing but “naked girls and dirty books,” and Margaret is not taking any chances.
Evan and Moose say nothing about sex or nakedness to Margaret. Moose only talks about his lawn cutting service, and he insists that she recommend him to her father. She memorizes his name and information and promises to pass on the message. Privately, she thinks that Moose is good-looking, but she decides not to say so to Nancy.
A few minutes later, Nancy walks Margaret home. The two of them are going to be in the same class at school, so they make plans to walk together on the first day. Nancy insists that Margaret not wear socks to school. Otherwise the other girls will think she is “a baby” will not want her to be in their secret club. Nancy promises to reveal more about this club when school starts.
That evening, Margaret talks to God about her new house. She describes her room and admits that the suburbs sound scary at night. She also asks God to “arrange” for her breasts to start developing soon.
When this is done, Margaret reflects that her parents do not know she talks to God. If she told them, they would would think she was a “religious freak." But she likes God because “He belongs to everybody.”