"A dazzling first book of personal essays . . . each one so sensitively (and sensuously) rooted in actual existence that I continually had to remind myself that I was reading about someone's life, not living it myself. Writing rarely gets this emotionally real."
—Robert Atwan, series editor, The Best American Essays
In this ensemble of beautifully personal, interrelated essays, writer and poet Rebecca McClanahan explores the familiar rituals, the shared dreams, and the guarded secrets that bind a family together. Besides navigating her own emotional landscape, McClanahan revisits the physical places of her childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. She takes us to the military bases where her father and husband were stationed, to the cemeteries she loved as both child and adult, and to the various hospitals and homes that served as backdrops for family stories.
Without sentimentality, she considers the meaning of losses—the loss of a child, a marriage, a family home, and a lost chance at motherhood—while celebrating the restorative power of time and close personal connections. In her search to discover what it means to be an individual within the context of kinship and ancestral bonds, McClanahan creates a moving meditation on family, memory, and the nature of home.
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