South of Reason
From the book jacket:
Everybody in Rosalita, Texas, wondered why the Sanders family had come back to town and bought the house next door to Lou Jean Perry. It was the absolute last place they should want to be. Now, Kayla Sanders looks back on that sizzling summer of her childhood, when the secrets of the past cast long shadows over two families’ lives.
Unlike my mother and grandmother, my father did not enjoy confrontation. He avoided arguments the way that I, until the year before, had avoided baths, an activity I’d considered boring, a complete waste of time. Behind a locked bathroom door, I would take off my clothes while the tub filled, then sit naked on the floor, swishing my hand in the water, carefully wetting the soap, the wash rag, the bath mat, and finally pulling the plug and donning pajamas to the sound of clean water being sucked down the drain. I consistently went to much more effort than the actual bath would have required.
…I had stopped avoiding baths in seventh grade, on the day that I heard James Chestnutt whisper in the lunch room line, “Kayla Sanders has a huge mole on her neck,” and reached up to find a clot of mud left there by a game of touch football played two days earlier and miraculously undiscovered by my mother. My normal response would have been to wash my neck that night, checking myself a little closer in the bathroom mirror, if I hadn’t also heard how Mike Spivey answered James. “I don’t care. I still like her.”