Walk Two Moons

by: Sharon Creech

Phoebe Winterbottom

Sal's best friend is a small, nervous girl with a propensity to spin tall tales from the inconsequential events of her everyday life. At the outset of Walk Two Moons, Phoebe is both uptight and inconsiderate: she snaps at her mother's expressions of affection, she refuses to eat food at a friend's house, she suspects the people around her are malevolent and dangerous beings. Her mother's unexpected disappearance and Sal's friendship help Phoebe move beyond her limited and limiting perception of the world. Phoebe tries desperately to explain her mother's disappearance by insisting that she has been kidnapped. She goes so far as to construct an elaborate narrative of conspiracy around her mother's disappearance, naming suspects and gathering clues. However, Sal, who has also experienced the pain and confusion engendered by a mother's inexplicable disappearance, understands Phoebe is using her fantastical tale to hide from the possibility that her mother does not love her, or that her mother's departure had something to do with her. She understands that Phoebe is afraid to confront her own inconsiderate behavior toward Mrs. Winterbottom. When Mrs. Winterbottom reappears, Phoebe is shocked by the news she brings, but despite her initial revulsion, resolves to work harder to understand and accept her mother for who she really is.