She shook back the hood and took off down the strand in a long chain of cartwheels and flips, her coat tumbling around her shoulders.

I can see how the juxtaposition of those phrases could be confusing. While "take off" often refers to removing clothing ("I took off my shoes and socks"), here it has a completely different meaning, namely to swiftly depart.

"shook back the hood" means that she caused the hood to fall down from her head by shaking her head/shoulders.


She shook her head such that her hood fell off to the rear. To take off is to start running, to leave rapidly.

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