The Color of Water

what is james's punishment for his poor grades and behavior at home?

chapter 19-epilogue

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After Hunter Jordan died, James became the "king" of the house - the eldest - but his grades dropped, and he began spending as much time away from home as possible, joining a band, getting drunk and high with his new friends, and narrowly escaping arrest. His mother tried to whip him into shape, but failed. In the end, as the house fell into disrepair, Ruth sent him to stay with Jacqueline in Kentucky for the summer.