As we close out our discussion this week, I'm aware (always keenly) of so many things about Maps that we haven't mentioned. Did I share the fact that chapter ten features a concert by the late, great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan? Did I tell you, as the narrator does, that a sparrow has three thousand feathers and grows an extra five hundred at the beginning of winter? What good am I?
I wish we had said more about the humor in Maps, which sometimes takes a second or third reading to catch. There's a subplot, for example, involving efforts by the family of the honor-killers to cover the killers' tracks. It's too complicated to describe fully here, but suffice it to say that a) the family is not nearly clever or criminal-minded enough to get away with it, and b) their plan depends on the unlikely event of finding two young strangers to stand in for the missing couple. It's a hopeless scheme, but they find one boy who agrees to participate. In the end, they spend so much time conspiring with the boy that people start to notice. The family is shocked when a neighbor asks: so who's that kid that's always hanging around?
Speaking of funny, did I mention the plumber who drives by in chapter eight? His van bears the legend, "You've tried the cowboys, now try the Indian."
Good advice, that.