But I've been thinking about the French book lately. With my mom in the hospital, mother/daughter relationships consume me. My novel, that's coming out this year, is about my mom. While it appears to be about a girl in the Soviet Union during collectivization, it's really my attempt to understand my mother's emotional and psychological world. Childhood events shape who we become as adults. As my mom falls deeper and deeper into being a ninety year old child, I become more aware of her emotional damage.
My aunts went through the same external events as my mom. But they were younger. Perhaps, an eleven/twelve year old, on the cusp of puberty, is much more vulnerable than a five year or even a sixteen year old. I don't know. Being alive and becoming a personality is a complex thing.
Here's a quote from Marilyn French, "We lose, but we replace, we substitute: we go on. This is as profound a truth as that we lose and cannot replace, we die." She's an amazing writer.