Summer--a great time for reading novels--is also a good time to catch up on more episodic reading. This memoir is perfect for a short period listening to the cicada orchestra from the porch swing, or a quick read before bed.
In twelve varied segments, poet and former New Yorker/Talk of the Town writer Zarin shares important milestones in her life as well as a passion for several material objects that she has become attached to over the years.
The strongest and most emotionally-charged piece is the title one in which Zarin describes a typical day on the Cape with her and her husband’s assorted brood of kids, when the youngest gets ill. “It began with a cough. Her brother had a cough. And, after all, what was a cough?” By this time, Zarin had treated countless upset tummies and sore throats. But two emergency visits later, she found herself kneeling next to her daughter while the ambulance raced to Children’s Hospital in Boston.
The diagnosis: the rare Kawasaki Disease, which is the leading cause of heart damage in children. This segment shows how quickly our ordinary lives can turn frightening and possibly tragic.