Eson Kim ponders the language of spices and scents that passes between her and her mother as Kim tries to learn her mother's recipes. Kim evokes the power of the ingredients to summon memories and connection, and contemplates the poignant difficulty of mastering what her mother knows.
In "Bluebird," Louise Houghton explores the fraught relationship between two siblings, a younger sister and her older brother. This is sibling rivalry rendered with nuance and yielding to the author's curiosity and insight, set in the specifics of an English childhood.
Ethan Gilsdorf finds perspective and a sense of belonging in the night sky. His essay "Me And My Orion" recalls the stars in that constellation and links him, and us, to the vast movements and the stillness above us.
A mother's wartime theories, two daughters' misunderstandings, and the issue of sexual control as it's wielded by a mother and a father: combat and choice resonate here in Carol Sandel's "Birth Control".
De Leon writes movingly about her grandfather's seeking forgiveness from the woman he abandoned in Guatemala. In "Lucky Woman," Luisa, De Leon's grandmother, meets him upon his return, passing defiant judgment upon him.