Maili's uplifting text dances with elegant and fluid steps as it plays with form and forges its own-it is as much poetry as it is novel as it is remembrance. A composition of beautiful and poignant snapshots follows a sparkling and down-to-earth narrator as she returns to her hometown and engages friends, family, lovers, and herself in the events that lead to and from it. The movement and pace sweep readers near and far in place and back and forth in time without losing them or the focus on what it means to be home. Maili shares the deep pleasures open to all of us, which so many of us deny ourselves, and she does this through the painful experiences life also brings. This is the story's power, and its structure is supported by and justifies the author's choice to omit proper names-a namelessness that centers the work on transforming grief into beauty. It is one of the many ways Maili refuses to let the difficulty in the story darken it. And her humor is never far away.
In this moving account of loving, being, and becoming; and personhood, womanhood, and motherhood; grief is undeniable, but beauty wins.
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