Come a Stranger (The Tillerman Cycle)
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A dashed dream leads to a rash decision in the fifth installment of Cynthia Voigt’s Tillerman cycle.
Mina Smiths lives to dance, so her scholarship to ballet camp seems like a dream come true. She doesn’t even mind being the only black girl in the troupe—that is, until she is told she’ll never be a classical dancer. It’s then that Mina begins to face some difficult truths about race and identity and transfers her passion for dance to Tamer Shipp, the summer minister for her church. The problem is, he’s a grown man with a family, but she can’t stop wishing for more to their friendship than simply pastor and parishioner.
Cynthia Voigt’s incomparable mastery of character and community shines forth in this stirring novel from her acclaimed Tillerman cycle.
please, and the bus started up. As the sun went down, they watched the flag being lowered, while a bugle blew taps. Everybody stood quiet to watch, listening to the sad, lonely notes of the bugle. Four marines stood at attention, while two others lowered the flag and folded it. Mina looked around at the crowd: officers and their families, lots of children standing quiet, sailors in bright white uniforms, and civilian groups. Except for a couple of the marines, she was the only black person
eye on Kat. It was fun on the beach, with the radios going and a bunch of people around and the sea nettles just starting to come in, so you could still swim without worrying if you’d get stung. Once you’d been in the water to cool down, the heat didn’t seem so bad. The beach was a long, narrow strip of dirty sand, and it was black people exclusively who used it. They stretched out along the sand, kids at one end, families in the middle, all stretched out to enjoy themselves. Relaxed, Mina
anything. It was his eyes that got her. She remembered his eyes as looking out with a whole mix of feelings, but now he had stepped back from them, he was somewhere way behind them, as if he couldn’t come out at all because it was too hard, and it would hurt too much. “Stop that whining, Alice, and do something useful,” were the first words Mina heard him speak. Everybody was surprised to hear that. The three children got silent. Alice got silent and then burst into tears and ran into the house.
in English without any trouble. Mina learned some about Dicey by keeping an eye out for a chance to start a conversation. But she never got that chance. Dicey kept herself clear of everyone. Mina asked around a couple of times, but wasn’t surprised to hear that nobody knew anything about Dicey. She didn’t seem to fall in with any group—she was a minority of her own, Mina figured, watching the dark eyes across the class as they observed what Mr. Chappelle was doing and then turned to the sky and
her own sake, but Sammy for being Samuel Tillerman. Sammy was the one who mattered. “Not without asking Gram,” Dicey said, before Mina finished her sentence. “I keep forgetting—she says we decide things together, and she’d be angry if I went ahead, and she’d be right. I’m sorry, Mina, I’ll ask her right now.” Mrs. Tillerman didn’t say anything when Dicey asked if she and Sammy could go to Mina’s church. Mrs. Tillerman stayed crouched by a row of tomato plants, working the soil with a