This was my initiation into a world where the way people felt about each other didn’t necessarily come from personal involvement.
This was the tree their mother had loved and named, decorated in the spring when she was still herself. The decorations were gone now—their father, in his anger and grief, had seen to it—but the thick tree still stood.
“No,” Mrs. Ware snapped. “After teaching forty-seven years I know what’s in them, and I can assure all of you that I have enough bath powder and linen handkerchiefs to last a lifetime.”