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Verbena and her younger sister Ivy have volatile interactions in the story, with Verbena inserting herself between Ivy and Holly. Verbena expresses jealousy about favorable treatment that Ivy received from their mother. Vera has a teasing reaction to their dispute which seems to have the effect of encouraging the conflict.

Vera was in the beauty modification business and Ivy was a "designer baby", while Verbena was not

A reader (Deb R.H.) notes that Ivy has lighter skin color and is doted on by their mother, while Ivy with darker skin and more Ethnic hair style, is positioned as the problem child.

Chapter 14
Pages
27[1], [2] 28[1], [2] 29[2]
32[2]
35[3] 36[4] 37[5] 37[5]
39[6]
Chapter 15
Pages
8[7], [5] 8[8], [7], [5], [9] 8[8], [5]
11[8], [2]
50[10], [11] 51[10], [11] 52[10], [3], [11] 53[11]
Chapter 20
Pages
cover[11] 1[2] 2[2], [12] 3[8], [12]
4[13] 5[1] 6[1], [14] 7[15]
8[14] 9[14], [16], [1]
14[17], [2] 15[8], [18], [2] 16[8] 17[8]

Themes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Teasing Holly
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Teasing Ivy
  3. 3.0 3.1 Holly confessing
  4. Holly's regret
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Verbena's unwitting confession
  6. Vera explaining
  7. 7.0 7.1 Vera's amusement
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 Sisterly love
  9. Vera's possessiveness
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Verbena's low self-esteem
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Verbena's frustration
  12. 12.0 12.1 Vera's involvement
  13. Conflict
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Affection for Holly
  15. Verbena's honesty
  16. Verbena's deflection about caring
  17. Ambushing Ivy
  18. Resentful tedium

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