“A journey to the center of a woman’s life.”—Maggie Scarf
“A moving and exquisitely drawn portrait . . . Spirals is about commitment, courage, and the meaning of love.”—New Woman
“Family. Familiar. Only my family isn’t familiar at all. My friends are familiar, my friends are as dependable as telephone poles, but the members of my family change in size, looks, powers, burdens and expectations, when all I ask of them is that they remain the same.
Children grow, gather power while their parents lose it, leave home, travel in other orbits. Parents move, remarry or don’t remarry, dwindle away, die. Spouses may stay around for a long while—mine did, for twenty-eight years—but sooner or later they leave.
And I keep changing too, even though I’m the one who stays home. I picture myself in the role of mother, particularly the mother of young children, because this is a self I like—distracted and short-tempered, I grant you, but well-meaning in spite of outbursts. Still, I have to recognize that this is different from the self who was a daughter or wife—and these don’t have much in common with the new, apprentice selves, who have to learn a whole set of limits, as mother of adults, mother-in-law, widow and grandmother. One thing these selves have in common, however: They’re not the same as my self when I’m alone.”—from Spirals