I saw my greatest hits, the K-Tel Christine Taylor album, offered on a late show commercial: two or three bittersweet C&W cuts of Lee, a rhythm-and-blues section starring Elgin, a war dance song for Aunt Ida, and some rock and roll for my teenage adventures. Rayona was all ballads.

This quotation is part of Christine’s musings at the beginning of Chapter 14, as she reflects on life immediately after learning that she has just six more months to live. The fact that Christine phrases her retrospective in terms of music indicates the importance that Dorris places on songs. Where many people might turn to visual images or to religion to reflect on their past, Christine’s first impulse when she receives the news she is dying is to compile her life onto an album. The styles of music she ascribes to each of the important people in her life are representative of her feelings regarding these people as individuals and their respective roles in her life, which shows that music offers her the best way of expressing her complicated emotions. In the same way that Ida is most comfortable speaking in Indian, Christine is most comfortable speaking in musical terms, and in many ways music is a more adequate medium for her thoughts than words are.