The Turning

It’s not even midnight yet and sixteen-year-old Artie Crenshaw, working the night shift at Gresham Berry Growers cannery, has been let go early—a slow, summer night, raspberry season running out, blackberries not yet started. And Artie has the family car with nothing to do until morning chores on the farm. Nothing to do, that is, except get in trouble and have fun. Nothing to do except

  • clash with some greasers outside the bowling alley in town
  • meet Reta Jane, a high school dropout and unwed mother, and help her uncle slaughter a pig dying of a heart attack
  • get shot at in a cherry tree and help fix a Ferris Wheel at the county fair
  • stumble across Wendy, poet and editor of the school paper, and get stuck in a ticket booth with two hoods trying to make him kiss pictures in a magazine
  • fight Eddy Peterson, his basketball rival, at Hosner’s Hole, the local lovers’ lane
  • have a run-in with an angry woman in a tent, and encounter Colleen, a new girl in town, on the banks of the Sandy River.

With the ominous specter of his dad’s pickup flashing by, Artie charges through disaster after disaster, a night-long series of adventures and encounters that leads him, after a final confrontation with his father, to the top of a Ferris Wheel and—just maybe—to the girl of his dreams.