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Ann lives near Normandy Street, between the Dallas Country Club and the Arch Mc Culloch Middle School, in a house neither mansion nor bungalow—two stories, four bedrooms, den, swimming pool.Bought five years ago for ,000, the house is now worth at least 0,000.As downtown has always been the male bastion, so the suburb has always been a female world, created from the beginning for raising children away from the turmoil of the inner city.Parenting is the only industry in Highland Park, and its assembly line workers, supervisors, and president have always been women.As always, nothing appeared to be amiss along the streets of Highland Park—the still-slumbering neighborhood seemed to have existed forever.Constancy and predictability were two of its greatest glories; surprise was as rare as rubbish or decay.Soon the car was heavy with handsome youngsters whom Ann dropped off at school.Just before nine, women in leotards, shorts, T-shirts, ballet shoes, and running shoes hurried from the parking lot across the street from the Highland Park Athletic Club to the exercise room on the club’s second floor, next to the five racquetball courts.
Ann has a tweedy, cared-for look common to women in affluent suburbs.
There was little to startle a stranger except perhaps the sudden activation of a lawn sprinkler system.
As Ann began her run, carrying a cloth napkin to wipe away the sweat, the morning silence was interrupted only by the hum of air conditioning units dispensing comfort and cold air and by the periodic roar of jet aircraft overhead.
Tommy sat in the front seat with his notebook and lunch box, relating an interminable tale about some television show, mimicking the voices of the different characters.
Shana sat in the back, staring out the window, quiet and moody, occasionally firing statements at her mother about why she should get a hardship license so she could drive at fifteen.