TITLE: The Secret Hum of a Daisy
GENRE: Contemporary Middle Grade
After the sudden death of her mother, Grace, 13, struggles between a deepening relationship with her once estranged Grandma, and the belief that her deceased mother is sending signs warning her away.
All I had to do was walk up to the coffin. That was all. I just had to get there and set the gardenia on the smooth brown wood. Grandma said gardenias were a proper funeral flower. As if there were such a thing.
But my mind kept turning to daisies. The wild ones I’d found against all-slushy-odds and stuck into those cold white wreaths. Mama would have liked that. She’d told me once that daisies spoke in a kind of song, a secret humming that birds could feel in their hollow bones, drawing them close. She said I could feel it too if I tried, along the fine hairs of my arms and neck. That we all have a little bird in us somewhere.
But there wasn’t any bird in me. I was more like a cast iron pan.
Listen, Grace. Mama’s voice seemed to drift near the stained glass windows where the snow first stuck and then slid down the colored panes.
Grandma told me it had been a cold winter, and it wasn’t over yet. One of the only facts she’d shared with me since we’d met the week before. Of course, it wasn't like I knew how much it snowed here or when, being from just about everywhere else. In all our wandering across the great state of California, Mama had never mentioned her home town. Auburn Valley.
Grandma took my hand in her damp one and squeezed. Hard. "Listen now," she said.