A Book I Need to Write

I've come to realize that the reason there are so many generational sagas on library book shelves is not so much that people want to read them, as that people need to write them.

Lynne Hinton's painful story, The Arms of God brought me to this realization.

The book unwinds the intermingled stories of several generations of mothers and daughters. It starts with the pain of a contemporary woman, eloquently conveying the lasting damage of early trauma. The tale then jumps back to the woman's grandmother, unfolding her life and that of her daughter.

Three generations of damaged women.

In some ways our lives start out as single strands. Simple, straightfoward. Uncomplicated. As life progresses new strands are woven in, until the end, at which point a complex tapestry has been woven from relationship and experience, love and loss, hate and healing.

In other ways our lives are never really that simple. At birth, and even before it, the threads from our mothers and grandmothers travel through to who we are, and to what we will be. Their pain shapes us. Their brokenness reflects through to us and we take on our own fractured variation.

So I think I understand why all these books exist.

They exist because we have to write them.

Mom, I need to hear your stories.


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