In literature, foreshadowing is a literary device authors use to hint toward future events in the story. This can be helpful to the writer when she crafts her story to build suspense, to develop the plot and to add nuance. For example, if the murderer ends up being a character we were never introduced to, then the reader can feel unsatisfied or even confused. Conversely, foreshadowing can also be used to throw us off the murderer 's scent, so to speak, with deliberately placed clues called red herrings. For example, a red herring might make us think the husband did it, when it was really the wife the whole time. Foreshadowing can be as subtle as a seemingly-chance encounter, or as direct as the author giving away the ending in the beginning.
Taylor uses her protagonist, Sylvia, to show foreshadowing. From the beginning of the book, Sylvia has been described as nothing peculiar. This is shown through the quote; “She was a plain child, plump, mature for her eleven years. Her greasy hair was fastened back by a pink plastic slide”. We can infer from this quote that Sylvia is of nothing important, there’s nothing special about this girl. “Since her mother 's death, her life had taken a sharp turn for the worse, and she could not see how it would ever be any better. She had no faith in freeing herself from it, even when she was grown-up.” This gives us more insight as to what her life is like and can tell that she has gone through a lot of hardships which makes it easier for us