The way Stielstra describes the Opulence atmosphere through Katie’s eyes (and the sense of awakening she would go on to experience during that defining summer) might make one wish they could pack a bag and run away there themselves: “It was like people out here knew how to live with space between them. In the city, there are so many people all in the same place that you storm along and grab your own space before anyone else can take it and act like there’s no one else there. And then, when you’re with people you do know, it’s all hugs and air kisses and oversharing about your diet and other people’s marriages and the state of your bowels, for all I know. Out here, there was plenty of space for everybody, so you were actually glad to see each other as it happened, and chat and have a friendly word, and then leave spaces for breathing. I was a total stranger, but that was okay.” (33-34).
Lena Sleight, Billings Gazette
Billings Public Library