“The word ‘Riviera’ had predicted yellow mornings and snowy boats, and crowds filling the streets in the way dancers fill a stage. Her mind’s eye had kept them at a distance so that they shimmered and might have been plumed, like peacocks.”
Mr. Holmes might not have been too concerned about what Sarah was getting up to in France; maybe he was simply pleased with himself for having removed her from the influence of Professor Downcast, a married man and father, with whom Sarah had become entangled.
But soon Sarah’s father realizes that she was an active participant in that situation (perhaps he once saw her as a victim), and sends her a letter which itemizes the qualities that Sarah seems to seek in a man. (It’s not a very flattering list.)
This is awfully handy for Sarah, however, who can use it as a shopping list of sorts.
Enter: Roy Cooper.
She tells him her entire life story. “She tossed a stone, a puppy asking for a game.” She is living in the moment, seeking diversions not decisions.
When Roy asks her to share the apartment he has found outside of Nice, she agrees. “She reflected on how no girl she knew had ever done quite this, and what her father would say.”
This, above all else, reveals Sarah’s immaturity. She is like a young child, seeking to provoke a response from a parent, when she is no longer sneaking a cookie before dinner but choosing indulgences that are truly life-changing.