This story took place in 1942 during World War II; the war in Europe was threatening to come over to the United States. There were rumors flying about German submarines being spotted just off the coast and traitors being discovered only a few towns away. Therefore, if you were friends with a German, it would be a problem.
The main characters are Robert and his cousin Elliot, there's Robert's mom, and his little 5 year-old sister, they lived in a farm but then they all went to Sachem's Head to live with Robert's grandparents, his aunt Nan and uncle Jake, just until his father returns from fighting overseas. His dad was a bomber pilot in Europe. Elliot, the cousin, was the difficult' type of person; he would put barricades and expect you to climb over them. Elliot would have his personal world', not letting others in easily, and he would ignore you if necessary, just so he could stay by himself, so he wouldn't need to give any explanations to anyone. But he didn't have many defenses, as mentioned in the story; Robert could look into his eyes and see everything he was feeling.
There was a German artist who lived near the beach in a shack, Abel Hoffman, and he was suspected of being a Nazi spy, because he was always observing at the beach, but it was actually for his paintings. But Elliot was friends with Abel, because he wanted to learn how to paint just like Abel, but no one seemed to understand. Even Robert doubted about the German that was always observing the shore, worried about Elliot's friendship with the artist, which could be a big problem at the time.
Elliot's house was full of secrets about the past of the family. Nobody in this house talked about Robert's father; they wouldn't even mention his name. Nobody even dares talking at all in the house. The grandfather was always angry and he was a mean-tempered person. What Robert wanted to know was what the whole family was hiding from him. He was always asking questions, even if... [continues]
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(2005, 08). The Art of Keeping Cool. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 08, 2005, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Art-Keeping-Cool-64046.html
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