Hyacinth looked at this child, at her flinty eyes, and saw how much she believed that she was not only right, but also justified. And she knew that this was the thing that would harm Dionne in the end, not her foolishness but the foolhardy way in which she clung to her own terrible ideas. She knew that this was Avril’s undoing, not that she’d made the wrong choices, but that she’d been so unwilling to let anyone in to see the lie of her marriage; this masking was worse than the original mistake. Sixty-three years on this earth had taught Hyacinth that it wasn’t so much the mistakes that people made but how flexible they were in their aftermath that made all the difference in how their lives turned out. It was the women who held too tightly to the dream of their husband’s fidelity who unraveled, the parents who clasped their children too close who lost them, the men who grieved too deeply the lives they’d wanted and would never have who saw their sadness consume them. Hyacinth worried about Dionne because of her hard way of being in the world, the way she could only see the world through the lens of her own flawed feelings.

–from The Star Side of Bird Hill by Naomi Jackson