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288 pages, Paperback
First published March 18, 2014
This house is so big I realize I'll need a master plan for clearing it out. I can't afford to get emotional. There are twenty-three rooms, so if I get caught up in the rigging, I'll go down with the ship.
I've been struggling to understand not only my relationship to Mum, but what this ancestral home means to me. I sense that it, too, is womb-like, this container – the source of all my happiness and unhappiness, the two inextricably intertwined, to be understood if at all by the untangling of it.
Am I my mother's biographer? Do all daughters become their mother's biographers, taking her history and passing it on to future generations? Writing letters was one of Mum's greatest talents, and here is the record of her life. At the end of our lives, we become only memories. If we're lucky, someone is passing those down.