Living… on New Penzance Island, in a big red house overlooking the water with her parents and three little brothers. She feels isolated; at twelve years old, she can’t communicate with her parents anymore, and her brothers reside in a different world, content to play table tennis and board games. Posted on their fridge is a pamphlet: “Coping With the Very Troubled Child.”
Profession… schoolgirl, stuck on the island in the summer with no one to hang out with and nothing to do. To fend off death by boredom, she passes the time by peering off into the distance through her binoculars. She takes her binoculars everywhere. “It helps me see things closer,” she says. “Even if they're not very far away. I pretend it's my magic power.”
Interests… swimming. Suzy broke the school record for the backstroke. She is also an avid reader and a fan of the 1960s French singer Francoise Hardy.
Relationship Status… pen pals with fellow 12-year-old Sam Shakusky, who she met backstage before a performance of the opera Noye’s Fludde. She was immediately attracted to his unique combination of boldness and dorkiness.
Challenge… not getting caught as she runs away on a journey across New Penzance Island with Sam. According to Police Captain Sharp, 95% of all runaways return within six hours. But Suzy plans to be out for as long as ten days. For the journey, she brought her cat, several cans of cat food to feed him, a record player, a few books, lefty scissors and, of course, her binoculars.
Personality… fierce, quirky, and angsty. Suzy rarely blinks, and has a withering stare that would wilt most, but not Sam. She has several overdue library books that she may or may not return one day; she took them “just to have a secret to keep.” She is prone to violent outbursts, like when she threw a rock through her own kitchen window, attacked a classmate and cut her hand on the mirror when she lost her temper at herself. Indeed, Suzy is experiencing a complex range of emotions as she enters the jungle that is adolescence.
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