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“If You Knew Suzy” by Katherine Rosman

After her mother’s death, Katie Rosman is left reeling. Her mother, Suzy, was only 60 years old, and the diagnosis of lung cancer came as a shock to the nonsmoker. After Suzy’s death, Rosman, a journalist, decides to investigate her mother’s life in order to understand how she faced her own death.

“This Boy’s Life” by Tobias Wolff

Toby Wolff is used to running–driving from Florida to Utah to Seattle to escape his mother’s boyfriend; moving to Concrete, WA, with his stepfather; dreaming of high school in Paris, France. But when he stops to face himself, he finds only scattered shadows of an identity.

“The Personal History of Rachel DuPree” by Ann Weisgarber

Rachel DuPree is tired. Her five living children are hungry and thirsty, and the baby due any day will add another weight to Rachel’s already overburdened shoulders. The DuPrees have scraped through the long summer drought with dreams of cool drinking water and full bellies, and Rachel is sick with a feeling of failure; she has failed to provide for her family, and she has failed to tame the wild lands that she and her husband, Isaac, claimed fourteen years ago.