Without Her: Memoir of a Family, by Patsy Creedy

The idea of what truly makes a family is a complicated notion at best, even within the frozen insistence of the Cold War standard of mother, father, and then some babies. There have always been so many whorls, small as fingerprints, filled with hidden lanes, ones that refuse tending, branches grown over what was once a common thread, a new fresh vine on the tree by the river with the dust-colored bark.

Without Her is a memoir about family. The template was followed precisely until there were five babies, filling the house with their halos of fuzzy slept-in hair and matching high foreheads. Then, one afternoon, their mother dies, leaving five babies and a shell-shocked husband behind, all in an instant. Without Her is the story of those children and the family they became, even as they yearned to hide the stain of their missing mother heart.

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