The novel, in keeping with the tropes of an adventure/accomplishment romance, continues to reflect Sal's internal life through external events and objects. Sal, whose hair long, black hair resembles her mother's, has hidden her mother's cut hair and the postcards she sent during her trip to Lewiston under the floorboards in her bedroom in Kentucky. The hair and postcards, which symbolize not just Sal's mother, but the personal changes that caused her to leave Kentucky, lie not just hidden and buried, but buried in a place far away from Sal. Though Sal has buried them beneath the floorboards in her bedroom and is drawing physically farther and farther away from them as the novel progresses, she is at the same time drawing physically and emotionally closer to what they represent—her mother's decision to leave home and the disaster that followed. In the same way, the singing tree externalizes the numbness and grief Sal felt when she and her father found that her mother was not coming back. In the world of the novel, the natural world and the events of the present not only serve as "exit points" into memories, but also serve as expressions and reflections of emotions characters are experiencing.