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From Carol Shields’ The Stone Diaries, evocative lines that ring true…

Mrs. Flett, Clarentine, a neat-bodied woman whose skin is the color or mushrooms and whose memory of her sons’ infancy has been washed clear by disappointment, dreams of taking Mercy’s large dry hands in hers and saying, “A woman’s life isn’t worth a plateful of cabbage if she hasn’t felt life stir under her heart. Taking a little one to nurse, watching him grow to manhood, that’s what love is. We say we love our husbands, we stand up in church saying as how we’ll love them forever and ever, till death do we part, but its our own blood and sinew we really love.”

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