GENRE: Young Adult Fiction
My stepdad steered his blue Ford pickup into the circular driveway at Molly Rainer’s home. “Now, that’s a nice outhouse,” he touted, with his usual country twang.
Before our excursion, he clocked several hours on a Los Angeles neighborhood-watch site researching the area. In addition, to get the true lay of the land, Richard pulled the satellite view, convinced that any neighborhood outside the Miracle Mile district might be infested with inner city gangs or hidden van rapists.
Therefore, being the ultimate stepdad--or red-neck zealot, whichever you prefer--he tried to make sure I would be safe from harm. “After all,” he’d told me earlier, “L.A. is nothin’ like Searcy, Arkansas”--his native town--or “Poverty Point, Louisiana”--where my brother and I were from.
I liked my mother’s choice of men this time. Richard trumped Dad in countless ways, and, although he could be a little overprotective at times, he proved to be a thoughtful man who loved his family.
We got out of the car and headed for the entrance of the manicured white stucco mansion that Molly simply called her “place.” Motif hedges, alongside pink and white rose beds, screamed “They’re rich!” while Richard gleamed with pride, extra pleased with himself, as if, just this once, someone at the drive-thru window filled his order with expert precision.