Dylan O’Brien for Teen Vogue
Stiles doesn’t set out to deceive anyone, but hunger and desperation have a way of smoothing out the path. He tells himself he’s keeping the advertisement because it’s amusing, and he has precious little to make him smile now that it’s been eight months since his father left Philadelphia on the trail of an escaped convict, with no letters for the last six months, and money fast running out.
He’s examining the newspaper for job advertisements when he sees it on the facing page: a wry, single line: Bachelor farmer desirous of avoiding own cooking seeks helpmeet, with a name—D. Hale—and a post office box number. Stiles never plans to answer it; he knows full well that an advertisement posted in the Matrimonial News is meant for women, but then—this particular advertisement didn’t specify, did it?