By Gabrielle Zevin. Since her release from Liberty Children's Facility, Anya Balanchine is determined to follow the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, her criminal record is making it hard for her to do that. No high school wants her with a gun possession charge on her rap sheet. Plus, all the people in her life have moved on: Natty has skipped two grades at Holy Trinity, Scarlet and Gable seem closer than ever, and even Win is in a new relationship. But when old friends return demanding that certain debts be paid, Anya is thrown right back into the criminal world that she had been determined to escape.
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By Gabrielle Zevin. Since her release from Liberty Children's Facility, Anya Balanchine is determined to follow the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, her criminal record is making it hard for her to do that. No high school wants her with a gun possession charge on her rap sheet.
Plus, all the people in her life have moved on: Natty has skipped two grades at Holy Trinity, Scarlet and Gable seem closer than ever, and even Win is in a new relationship.
But when old friends return demanding that certain debts be paid, Anya is thrown right back into the criminal world that she had been determined to escape.
It's a journey that will take her across the ocean and straight into the heart of the birthplace of chocolate where her resolve--and her heart--will be tested as never before. We find ourselves in the midst of a situation," Evelyn Cobrawick greeted me, parting her painted red lips to reveal a cheerful sliver of yellow tooth.
Was this meant to be a grin? I certainly hoped not. Cobrawick was at her most dangerous when smiling. Through careful adherence to rules—all but one, all but once—I had managed to avoid the woman for the entire summer. A situ— I began. Cobrawick interrupted me. Watching them grow up and make better lives for themselves.
Knowing that I had some small part in these rehabilitations. I truly feel as if I have thousands of daughters.
It almost makes up for the fact that the former Mr. Cobrawick and I were not blessed with any children of our own. Be patient, Anya. I think you may have gotten the wrong impression about me. The measures I took last fall may have seemed harsh to you at the time, but they were only to help you adjust to life at Liberty. One would hardly guess that you came from such a criminal background. This was meant as a compliment so I thanked her.
I snuck a glance out Mrs. The night was clear, and I could just make out the tip of Manhattan. Only eighteen hours before I would be home. You are most welcome. I feel optimistic that your time here will serve you well in your future endeavors. Which brings us, of course, to our situation. I turned to look at Mrs.
I very much wished that she would stop referring to it as our situation. The guard on duty that day claimed that you kissed him. She paused to look me in the eyes. He had been injured, as you probably read in my file, and I suppose I was overcome to see him well again.
I apologize, Mrs. Yes, you did break the rules, Mrs. Cobrawick replied. It probably surprises you to hear an old gorgon like me say that, but I am not without feelings, Anya.
Before you came to Liberty in June, acting District Attorney Charles Delacroix gave me very specific instructions regarding your treatment here.
Would you like me to tell you what they were? There were only three. The first was that I was to avoid any unnecessary personal interaction with Anya Balanchine. That explained why my stay had passed in such relative peace.
The second was that Anya Balanchine was not to be sent to the Cellar under any circumstance. The third was that I was to contact him immediately if his son came to visit you. I felt myself shudder at the word length. I was well aware of the promise I had made Charles Delacroix regarding his son. So, when the guard came to me with the news that the Delacroix boy had been to see Anya Balanchine, do you know what I decided to do?
I decided to do nothing. Not anyone can run this kingdom of mine. She waved her hand by way of changing the subject. She laughed, then took my hand in hers and squeezed it so hard one of my knuckles cracked. Daddy always said that there was no commodity more precious or potentially volatile than friendship.
I looked into her dark, red-rimmed eyes. She released my hand. Incidentally, Charles Delacroix is an incredible fool. The more he pulls, the more the two of you will pull back. Here, Mrs.
Cobrawick was wrong. Win had visited me that one time. I had kissed him, then told him that he should never come again. Cobrawick said. She opened up my file on her slate. Weapons-possession charges? Cobrawick put on the reading glasses she wore on a brass chain around her neck. I seem to remember you shooting someone. The answer to that was complicated. I did not regret my actual crime either—shooting Jacks after he shot Win. I regretted nothing.
Of course, I could sense that saying this would have been frowned upon. Then, as of tomorrow —Mrs. Cobrawick consulted her calendar— the seventeenth day of September in the year , the city of New York considers Anya Balanchine to be successfully rehabilitated.
Best of luck to you, Anya. May the temptations of the world not lead you to recidivism. It was lights-out by the time I got back to the dormitory. As I reached the bunk bed I had shared with Mouse these past eighty-nine days, she lit a match and gestured that I should come sit by her in the bottom bunk. She held out her notepad. I need to ask you something before you go, she had written on one of her precious pages.
She was only allotted twenty-five per day. After Thanksgiving or even sooner. Good behavior, or maybe I use too much paper. She put her hand over my mouth and handed me yet another prewritten note. Apparently, my responses were just that predictable. You can. I want to be a chocolate dealer. The girl was five feet tall in socks and completely mute! At that moment, the match burned out, and she lit another one.
Mouse, I whispered. If you let me work with you, I will be loyal to you for life. I would die for you, Anya. The last thing she wrote before the guards came for me was See you around, A. My real name is Kate, by the way. At eleven a. Despite the fact that I had been booted from the school, I had worn my Trinity uniform the day I had surrendered myself. I was so used to wearing the thing. Even three months later, as I was pulling the skirt over my hips, I could feel my body wanting to go back to school, and specifically to Trinity, where classes had started without me the previous week.
Kipling, my lawyers, waited for me instead. Kipling considered me before he answered.
Because It Is My Blood: A Novel
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Because It Is My Blood
Required reading if you own the first title. She hides out on a Mexican cacao farm, where she discovers the roots of Balanchine Chocolate and gathers the strength to go back and face the remaining members of her treacherous family. After a sluggish start, the last third of the novel takes off when Anya is confronted with several surprising betrayals and confessions. Casual browsers should be warned that this is a true sequel that entails a read of the initial installment to make all the necessary connections. A lackluster take on a well-worn trope. After a family tragedy, year-old Ivy Mason hopes to reconnect with her aloof identical twin sister, Iris—but Iris has other plans.