He was her mirror image. Now the mirror has cracked.
Celeste and her twin brother, Noble, are as close as can be -- until a tragic accident takes Noble's life. It's a loss that pushes their mother, a woman obsessed with New Age superstitions, over the edge....
Desperate to keep her son "alive," Celeste's mother forces her to cut her hair, wear boys' clothes, and take on Noble's identity. Celeste has virtually disappeared -- until a handsome boy moves in next door, and Celeste will risk her mother's wrath to let herself come back to life.
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December 31, 2003
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Excerpt from Celeste by V.C. Andrews
I can't exactly remember the first time we saw our mother stop whatever she was doing, look out at the darkness, smile, nod, and softly say something like, "I understand. Yes. Thank you," to no one we could see, but every time she did it, I felt an eerie excitement, a pleasant chill like the quiver I might feel sliding down a hill on my sled or leaping off the rock to splash in our pond. When I was very little, seeing and hearing Mommy speak to her spirits was simply scary fun, and no matter what I was doing at the time, I would stop and listen and watch her, and then Noble would stop playing and listen, too. Sometimes we would hear Daddy talk to himself and Mommy as well, but this was different, and only Mommy did it.
I would look at Noble to see if he made any sense of it, and he would look at me with a confused expression, the dimple we both shared in our left cheeks flashing prominently, his eyebrows, like mine, raised and twisted. Neither of us understood, but neither of us asked her about it.
I knew in my heart that in time, she would tell us.
And yes, one day she pulled us aside and hugged us to her, kissing both our foreheads and cheeks, perhaps kissing Noble a little more because she always seemed to think he needed more of her kisses than I did, and then she told us everything with great excitement in her voice, as much excitement as someone learning what she was going to get for Christmas.
"I am going to let you both know a great secret," she said. "It's time for me to tell you. Do you know what a secret is, Noble " she asked.
She didn't ask me because she knew I knew. I was a far better reader and listener than Noble was, and I had twice the vocabulary. He nodded, but not with any real confidence in his eyes, so she explained.
"It's something you must not tell anyone else, something you must keep locked up here and here," she said, pointing to his head and his heart. "It's a very bad thing to tell a secret after you have promised not to do that. Understand "
Noble nodded firmly now and Mommy relaxed, took a deep breath, and continued.
She told us she heard voices no one else could hear, not even Daddy, and she could see people -- spirits, she called them -- that he couldn't see.
"Who are they " I asked.