Early Hours

In the night, rain thickens to snow. Wind has washed away yesterday’s balmy temperatures.

The cats and I are awake hours before the girls, myself with that eternally running list and dialogue, the cats warm-pawed and hungry. Satiated with their breakfast, one lies on my legs, the other on my feet, while I read The Perfect Nanny, a book brutal and beautiful.

I parse Slimani’s sentences: How has she written this? How has she put this together? and wonder, Who of my library patrons would read this? 

Ice pelts the windows. Our house is blessedly warm, the kitchen filled with light.

She feels alone with the children. Children don’t care about the contours of our world. They can guess at its harshness, its darkness, but they don’t want to know anything more.

— Leila Slimani, The Perfect Nanny

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Mist and Clouds

By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

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