I noticed throughout the book that there were no quotation marks during dialogue between Faina, Jack and Mabel and I don't understand why that is - perhaps a hint to the true meaning of the story? It made me believe that maybe Mabel and Jack were crazy and somehow were having the same illusion, which would be Faina's existence. But then others saw Faina as well, so that theory went out the window. Any ideas? What am I missing?
I am so glad you posed this question. I actually googled for forum discussions on the book, to see if it was being discussed. Did it mean she had other worldly powers? Were the conversations telepathic with her, but the reciprients felt they were out loud?
It is a deliberate device by the author, as all conversations without Faina have " ". I thought perhaps she was a ghost, that all became attuned to..or a mystical nature spirit made flesh for awhile. Perhaps she never was the daughter of the trapper, but felt it a safe story to hide behind. So intriguing!!
Withholding quotation marks adds that otherworldly nature to her dialogue; when she speaks, her words aren't carried in any traditional sense. Often described as being right over your shoulder when she's no where to be found, describing such an experience is ineffable at best. Removing quotation puts her words, her lines, in the same realm as the narrative, as the details of the scenery and unfolding of the story. Removing the quotation marks is another way to reinforce Faina's ties to the world and wilderness around her.
karmickhalsa and James those are *very* nice answers. Like Seagirl, at least until others also saw and conversed with Faina, I wondered if she were communicating telepathically with Mabel and Jack. Saying she is one with the setting, waaaay cooler.