Meg McKinlay Quotes
“Alive. That was the first thing.
A daughter. That was the second.
They knew this without being told, without searching the newborn's features for some telltale sign. If the child had been a boy, the Mothers would have emerged empty-handed. They would have filed quietly from the house, leaving the family to their disappointment.
A boy was simply another mouth to feed, another body to keep warm during the winter. A boy might wield an axe or trap a bird. He might mend a roof or skin a rabbit.
Such things were useful; there was no denying it. But a daughter? A daughter could do those too, and much more besides.”
“They watched as the bird disappeared, until the only sign it had been there at all was the quivering of branches, a handful of leaves falling quietly to the forest floor around them.
There was no need for either to say what they were thinking. They had done a wrong thing, a right thing.
They would tell no one ever.”
“It felt like she was unraveling. Things she had thought long forgotten were all of a sudden right there, bright fibers of memory unspooling. And she had seen how this worked, how it began with one frayed corner, a single loose thread. It seemed harmless at first because it was just this small strand, so you tugged it a little, and before long you were pulling and pulling, unstitching the very fabric of things.”