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Carol rolls another tennis ball through the red trough, winds up and whips it at the wall. It smacks hard and rebounds, leaving an oblong mark with a clean ring between it and the splatter halo. Perfect. She, Kristoff and May are all covered with paint now–she’s glad they wore shower caps.

The house is new to them but older than their parents. How many times, Carol wonders, has it been painted, owned and stripped again? Who hung posters and paintings here? What did the children draw, on the walls of this room, when they were making it their own?