"It was Christmas Eve morning" (p. 315).I read those lines near the end of the book, realizing that this morning really happened to be Christmas Eve morning.
"He squinched his eyes" (p. 302).I have used the word plenty of times, but I don't remember ever seeing "squinched" in print. In the book, the main characters were putting lights on a Christmas tree. He told her to squint (a related word) while looking at the lights, so they would notice any gaping places that needed a light or two. So what does the word mean?
Word of the Day
squinch / skwin(t)SH / verb (North American) = tense up the muscles of (one's eyes or face); narrow one's eyes so as to be almost closed. Example: "He suggested she squinch her eyes while looking at the Christmas tree lights."Plague Ship ~ by Frank G. Slaughter, 1976, fiction (Peru), 9.5/10
"The heart sounds, too, although a little distant, were clear except for a murmur over the area of the mitral valve that often went with chronic rheumatic heart disease" (pp. 38-39).Charlotte, an elementary school friend of mine, had rheumatic fever. I thought they said "romantic fever." Here's the definition I found online:
"Rheumatic fever is a disease that can affect the heart, joints, brain, and skin. Rheumatic fever can develop if strep throat and scarlet fever infections are not treated properly. Early diagnosis of these infections and treatment with antibiotics are key to preventing rheumatic fever."
Charlotte had poor health after that illness. As an adult, I was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse. Reading this book makes me wonder what caused my medical problem.