. . . We waited most of the afternoon, my mother fidgeting and sighing through her worries, while I read sporadically. I happened upon an article about banned books, and in the juxtaposition of that day—my sister’s cancer surgery and another school shooting—it struck a chord. . .
. . . The Washington Post reports that a toddler, a child under three-years-old, has killed or wounded either him or herself, or another person at least once weekly in 2015—and if past is prologue, we can expect a dozen or so similar tragedies before the new year.
But the toll is actually much higher. . .
“In Small’s sprawling, evocative debut, Joss Ellen Ryckman stops running from her past and, after the death of her mother, returns to her childhood farm in upstate New York. . . Small’s expansive prose spares no expense on powerful and descriptive details. . .”