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Spring Has Spring: Books That Celebrate Springtime, Revival, and Nature

Spring has sprung and we’re excited to share a list of our favorite reads representing springtime, revival, and nature!

Laura G Recommends

Pond Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780399575907
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - July 11th, 2017

This is a complete and utter escape en par with a certain other Irish writer's stream-of-consciousness masterpiece. Contemplative, rich, and an absolute delight - pure natural aesthetic pleasure!


Nightlights Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781910620571
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Nobrow - March 5th, 2019

Filled with rich, jewel-toned comic pages as well as luscious, dizzyingly detailed spreads, Alvarez brings the imagination to life in her latest graphic novel! Filled with nature-inspired imagery, this book is a gorgeous work of art for people of all ages!

Keaton Recommends


The Secret Wisdom of Nature: Trees, Animals, and the Extraordinary Balance of All Living Things --- Stories from Science and Observation Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781771643887
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greystone Books - March 5th, 2019

Everyone's favorite German tree whisperer rounds out his groundbreaking nature trilogy with his latest insightful deep dive into the world around us.


Mama's Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780393635065
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 12th, 2019

This book by primatologist, atheist and philosopher De Waal will break your heart and fill it with wonder. Using the life of chimpanzee matriarch Mama as a case study, his ever empathetic and brilliant mind explores the complex emotional life of our animal cousins.

Laura M Recommends


The Overstory Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9780393356687
Availability: Coming Soon - Pre-Order Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 2nd, 2019

Out in paperback 4/2! A masterpiece. This dizzying tale draws together several strangers and the natural world that is fading around them in an epic struggle for the future of American forests. Engaging and timely without being didactic, THE OVERSTORY is Powers at his best.

Richard Powers will be with Tayari Jones for an event with Inprint on 4/22!


Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143125372
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - May 27th, 2014

Mooallem dives deep into our conflicted relationship with animals, and the extreme lengths we will go to save endangered species. A beautiful, tender book that reveals much more about us than it does about the creatures we are trying to save.


The Oldest Living Things in the World Cover Image
By Rachel Sussman, Carl Zimmer (Memoir by), Hans Ulrich Obrist (Memoir by)
$60.00
ISBN: 9780226057507
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: University of Chicago Press - April 14th, 2014

Artist and scientist Rachel Sussman set out to photograph the old living things in the world. This stunning coffee table book reminds us how fleeting and precious a single human life is against the backdrop of mosses, lichen, and tree systems that have lived for centuries.

Joy Recommends


Where the Crawdads Sing Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780735219090
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - August 14th, 2018

This latest pick for Reese Witherspoon's Book Club is part coming of age story and part murder mystery, set against the backdrop of the lonely North Carolina marsh lands, so vividly depicted they serve as their own sort of fully-realized and mesmerizing character.


Angel Thieves Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781442421097
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books - March 12th, 2019

Set in Houston both past and present, ANGEL THIEVES intertwines the stories of a father and son eeking out a living stealing cemetery angels, an escaped slave and her daughters, an ocelot, a marble carver, a teenage girl, and the ever-present, ever-moving Buffalo Bayou, which sees them all in Newbery Award winner and National Book Award nominee Appelt's lyrical, gorgeous new YA novel. We are hosting Kathi Appelt on 4/24! Join us!

Katie Recommends


The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781937512750
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Two Dollar Radio - September 18th, 2018

Each character in this novel are extremely flawed, facts become blurred as the Louisiana humidity and swamps take over a mother with mental illness and her two daughters are left to understand what has happened. A story of family and the dark cloud our past and the choices our family make that effect our past present and future.


A City Inside: Hardcover Edition Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781910395417
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Avery Hill Publishing - October 15th, 2018

A story that shifts between the surreal and the everyday as a woman looks back on her childhood and growing up, ultimately about discovering who we are and want to be in life while not having just one coming-of-age, but multiple in a lifetime. A beautiful reminder that who we are in this moment does not define who we can become.


Aesthetica Botanica: A Life with Plants Cover Image
By Sandu Publications (Editor)
$39.95
ISBN: 9781584236863
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Gingko Press - September 15th, 2018

Green thumb or not this book will inspire you to create a garden of your own no matter where you live. Full of gorgeous photos and inspiration for all types of spaces.

Sara Recommends


Reinhardt's Garden Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566895620
Availability: Not Yet Published
Published: Coffee House Press - Coffee House Press - October 2019

Our very own Habes has the jungle down pat in his exploratory, lucid adventure story. Life, death, renewal, past, present — all is represented in this obsessive and philosophically driven novella. Out this fall. Sorry, you'll have to wait for this one!


Spring Garden (Japanese Novellas #2) Cover Image
By TOMOKA SHIBASAKI, Polly Barton (Translated by)
$13.95
ISBN: 9781782272700
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Pushkin Press - November 7th, 2017

Taro is one of the last residents in a 12-apartment complex slated for demolition, each home named after a zodiac symbol. He becomes friends with a woman in his complex who is obsessed with the beautiful and unusual house next door. This book beautifully encompasses themes of growth, rebirth, and nostalgia.


Binstead's Safari Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780811228466
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - February 26th, 2019

This incredible feminist writer just passed away, and her works have been woefully under-worshipped. In BINSTEAD’S SAFARI, a woman finds agency during a trip to Africa with her husband. As they travel, she transforms from a rather bland woman to a fabulous social butterfly who is able to find satisfaction wholly separately from her self-indulgent husband. Tongue-in-cheek and utterly pleasing, this book engages the mystique of the local fauna (it is Rachel Ingalls, after all... hint, hint).

Alana Recommends


The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9780871408662
Availability: Backordered
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - March 14th, 2017

Take a deep dive into the Gulf of Mexico with this Pulitzer Prize-winning work of ecological history. Davis weaves a rich narrative that looks closely at the people, industries, and wildlife that call this sea home.

Lyric Recommends


The Color Purple Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780156028356
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - May 28th, 2003

Celie's story is like a blooming flower: out of traumas imposed by men, and the violence of the Jim Crow South, she comes into the love that can exist between people who care for one another. All of this pivots on her lover Shug's theology of nature, rooted in the sensuality of fields of flowers, rain, wind and the sky.


Women's History Month: What's the Staff Reading Right Now?

The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II Cover Image
By Svetlana Alexievich, Richard Pevear (Translated by), Larissa Volokhonsky (Translated by)
$18.00
ISBN: 9780399588747
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - April 3rd, 2018

Winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature, Ukrainian author Svetlana Alexievich is an utterly original voice in modern writing. Her books are described as "oral histories" where Alexievich interviews people from every facet of society: farmers to government officials to soldiers. Her books look bravely into the abyss of the 20th and 21st century, seeing the brutal reality of events like the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, war and its aftermath. There's very little in modern writing as visceral and urgent as her books; they're as important as they are moving.

- Mark


Herstory: 50 Women and Girls Who Shook Up the World Cover Image
By Katherine Halligan, Sarah Walsh (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781534436640
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - September 11th, 2018

Written and Illustrated by two women this picture book is not only beautiful but full of amazing powerful women from around the world. From artists to activists, this book guarantees to teach you about an important woman in history you maybe don't know.

- Katie


The Changeling Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781941040898
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Tin House Books - April 10th, 2018

A drunken heroine meets a dark and mysterious stranger, who whisks her away to an isolated island estate overrun with near-feral children. What unfolds is a haunting and utterly odd take on the modern fairy tale from one of America's greatest living writers.

- Keaton


Madame Victoria Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781771962070
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Biblioasis - Biblioasis - November 13th, 2018

This translated book cuts to the heart of what it is to occupy a female body - the fear, the joy, and the rage. Twelve speculative stories demonstrate a vast range of emotion - at times they are uplifting and peaceful before diving back into the narrative's constantly present, violent underbelly. Haunting, visceral, and so important.

- Laura


Recitation Cover Image
By Suah Bae, Deborah Smith (Translator)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781941920466
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Deep Vellum Publishing - Deep Vellum Publishi - January 24th, 2017

RECITATION charts the travels of a mysterious traveler and voice actress after she arrives at an empty train station in Europe. As the book’s pages creep by, the lone woman’s narrative becomes ever more tangled in her personal identity, family past, and the imagined collective past of city dwellers in general. Bae Suah weaves a lyrical exploration of self-discovery through the eyes of what could be any number of female identities. This is a remarkable book that manages both experimentation and nonlinearity and thoughtful, deliberate plot.

-Sara


Phoenix Lore and Slow-Burn Romance: Laura Interviews Author Nicki Pau Preto

I first came across Crown of Feathers back in October and let me tell you, it has been so difficult to wait for it to hit shelves! I read the book in one day, completely engrossed in the world building and characters. I am so thrilled I was able to interview the author, Nicki Pau Preto, about her gorgeous story of sisterhood, deception, and betrayal.

Crown of Feathers Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781534424623
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon Pulse - February 12th, 2019

Marlon James and the Power of Myth

Brazos Bookstore was lucky enough to host Marlon James for his new fantasy epic, Black Leopard, Red Wolf. Our buyer, Keaton (a staunch fan of the book, and of James in general), sat down with James to talk about the book, myth-making, identity, and colonialism.


Brazos Bookstore: I’m always interested in the impetus and research that goes into the composition of any novel--how history, culture and the real world influence its creation. Can you tell us a bit about what led you to write BL/RW?

Black Leopard, Red Wolf (The Dark Star Trilogy #1) Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780735220171
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - February 5th, 2019

Bookseller Summer Camp: Sara, Ülrika, and Keaton Chat Winter Institute

Sara, Keaton, and Ülrika trekked to New Mexico for Winter Institute, a booksellers' conference in late January. It's run by the American Booksellers Association, a group over a century old that acts as a not-for-profit trade organization to help independent bookstores grow and succeed. It's a time to reconnect with the industry, other booksellers, and publishers. They sat down to chat about their experience at WI and its importance in the field.


Sara: A few weeks ago, Ülrika, Keaton and I went to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to go to Winter Institute.

Joy Interviews Lynne Kelly, Author of SONG FOR A WHALE

I have known Houston author Lynne Kelly since her first middle grade novel, CHAINED debuted back in 2010, and I’m lucky to call her a friend. She is an amazing writer with books that are both funny and heartwarming and always memorable. She is also many other things, including a lover of animals and a sign-language interpreter, both of which led her to write her newest novel, SONG FOR A WHALE, which is getting both amazing buzz and phenomenal reviews. So it was my great honor and pleasure to get to interview her about SONG and the writing life and whales and more!

Song for a Whale Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781524770235
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Delacorte Books for Young Readers - February 5th, 2019

Texas Book Festival Brings Books to Kids Texas-Wide

Free books for kids? Connecting authors with their readers? Sign us up! This past January, Texas Book Festival came to Houston for their fifth annual school literacy program in the area, Reading Rock Stars. 2019’s lineup featured ten of our most beloved kidlit authors: Roda Ahmed, Ana Aranda, Diane Gonzales Bertrand, Ame Dyckman, Vashti Harrison, Nicolás Kanellos, James Luna, Jessica Mendoza, Chitra Soundar, and Lila Quintero Weaver.

Laura M Reviews Maria Popova's FIGURING

Maria Popova is the author, curator, and brain child behind the blog Brain Pickings: a cultural treasure trove of the thoughts, letters, and life’s work of some of history’s greatest thinkers. Most Brain Pickings articles have titles like “How to Grow Old: Bertrand Russel on What Makes a Fulfilling Life” and “Zadie Smith on Optimism and Despair.” Spanning centuries, her articles delve into a person’s writing to find the fundamental truths that make them who they are.

Figuring Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781524748135
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pantheon - February 5th, 2019

Staff Chat: Chloe Aridjis' SEA MONSTERS

SEA MONSTERS is a brilliantly playful and supple novel about the moments and mysteries that shape us. It takes place in 1980's Mexico City, wherein a young woman named Luisa decides to go on an adventure. Instead of going to school, she takes a bus with a boy she barely knows to the Pacific Coast in search of a mysterious group of traveling Ukranian circus performers. Mark, Sara, and Katie sat down to chat about the book. Visit us on February 25, when we host a SEA MONSTERS happy hour at 6pm and an event with Chloe Aridjis at 7pm!

Sea Monsters Cover Image
$23.00
ISBN: 9781936787869
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Catapult - February 5th, 2019

LitHaus: A Goethe Pop-Up Houston Reading List

Brazos Bookstore is excited to partner with the Goethe-Institut's Houston pop-up for a year of cultural events in our city.

The Goethe Pop Up Houston presents LitHAUS, a monthly reading series for contemporary German literature. Each month’s selection will be accompanied by a talk or discussion around the work and its wider themes. Reading the work is encouraged but not required. Everyone is welcome to join in! Find more information about Goethe Pop Up Houston here.

Memoirs of a Polar Bear Cover Image
By Yoko Tawada, Susan Bernofsky (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9780811225786
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - November 8th, 2016

Memoirs of a Polar Bear stars three generations of talented writers and performers. Famous stars of the literary world, the circus, and the zoo, they happen to be polar bears who move human society. In part one, the matriarch, enjoying “the intimacy of being alone with my pen,” accidentally writes a bestselling autobiography in the Soviet Union. In part two, her daughter Tosca moves to East Germany and pioneers a thrilling circus act. And Tosca’s son—the last of their line—is Knut, born in part three and raised by a human keeper in relatively happy circumstances in the Berlin zoo.


Before the Feast Cover Image
By Sasa Stanisic, Anthea Bell (Translator)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781941040393
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tin House Books - June 14th, 2016

It’s the evening before the feast in the village of Fürstenfelde. The village is asleep. Except for the ferryman—he’s dead. And Mrs. Kranz, the night-blind painter, who wants to depict her village for the first time at night. A bell-ringer and his apprentice want to ring the bells—the only problem is that the bells have gone. A vixen is looking for eggs for her young, and Mr. Schramm is discovering more reasons to quit life than to quit smoking. Someone has opened the doors to the Village Archive, but what drives the sleepless out of their houses is not that which was stolen, but that which has escaped. Old stories, myths, and fairy tales are wandering about the streets with the people. They come together in a novel about a long night, a mosaic of village life, in which the long-established and newcomers, the dead and the living, craftsmen, pensioners, and noble robbers in football jerseys bump into one another. They all want to bring something to a close, on this night before the feast.


Bricks and Mortar Cover Image
By Clemens Meyer, Katy Derbyshire (Translator)
$25.00
ISBN: 9781910695197
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Fitzcarraldo Editions - Fitzcarraldo Editions - May 8th, 2018

Bricks and Mortar is the story of the sex trade in a big city in the former GDR, from just before 1989 to the present day, charting the development of the industry from absolute prohibition to full legality in the twenty years following the reunification of Germany. The focus is on the rise and fall of one man from football hooligan to large-scale landlord and service- provider for prostitutes to, ultimately, a man persecuted by those he once trusted. But we also hear other voices: many different women who work in prostitution, their clients, small-time gangsters, an ex-jockey searching for his drug-addict daughter, a businessman from the West, a girl forced into child prostitution, a detective, a pirate radio presenter…


The Fox and Dr. Shimamura Cover Image
By Christine Wunnicke, Philip Boehm (Translator)
$15.95
ISBN: 9780811226240
Availability: Coming Soon - Pre-Order Now
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - April 30th, 2019

The Fox and Dr. Shimamura toothsomely encompasses Japan and Europe, memory and actuality, fox-possession myths and psychiatric mythmaking. The novel begins near the story’s end, in Dr. Shimamura’s retirement. A feverish invalid, he’s watched over by four women: his wife, his mother, his mother-in- law, and a nurse (originally one of his psychiatric patients). As an outstanding young Japanese medical student at the end of the nineteenth century, Dr. Shimamura is sent—to his dismay—to the provinces: he is asked to cure scores of young women of an epidemic of fox possession. He considers the assignment a joke, believing it’s all a hoax, until he sees a fox moving under the skin of a beauty. He comes to believe not just in fox possession, but also that he in fact “cured” the young woman with a kiss, by breathing in the fox demon (the root of his lifelong fever). Next he travels to Europe and works with such luminaries as Charcot, Breuer and (briefly) Freud himself.


All Russians Love Birch Trees Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781590515846
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Other Press - January 7th, 2014

Set in Frankfurt, All Russians Love Birch Trees follows a young immigrant named Masha. Fluent in five languages and able to get by in several others, Masha lives with her boyfriend, Elias. Her best friends are Muslims struggling to obtain residence permits, and her parents rarely leave the house except to compare gas prices. Masha has nearly completed her studies to become an interpreter, when suddenly Elias is hospitalized after a serious soccer injury and dies, forcing her to question a past that has haunted her for years. With cool irony, Grjasnowa’s debut novel tells the story of a headstrong young woman for whom the issue of origin and nationality is immaterial—her Jewish background has taught her she can survive anywhere. Yet Masha isn’t equipped to deal with grief, and this all-too-normal shortcoming gives a particularly bittersweet quality to her adventures.


River Cover Image
By Esther Kinsky, Iain Galbraith (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781945492174
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Transit Books - Transit Books - September 4th, 2018

A woman moves to a London suburb near the River Lea, without knowing quite why or for how long. Over a series of long, solitary walks she reminisces about the rivers she has encountered during her life, from the Rhine, her childhood river, to the Saint Lawrence, and a stream in Tel Aviv. Filled with poignancy and poetic observation, River is an ode to nature, edgelands, and the transience of all things human.


Sand Cover Image
By Wolfgang Herrndorf, Tim Mohr (Translated by), Michael Maar (Afterword by)
$18.95
ISBN: 9781681372013
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: NYRB Classics - June 12th, 2018

North Africa, 1972. While the world is reeling from the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, a series of mysterious events is playing out in the Sahara. Four people are murdered in a hippie commune, a suitcase full of money disappears, and a pair of unenthusiastic detectives are assigned to investigate. In the midst of it all, a man with no memory tries to evade his armed pursuers. Who are they? What do they want from him? If he could just recall his own identity he might have a chance of working it out. . . .


I Called Him Necktie Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781939931146
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: New Vessel Press - New Vessel Press - September 9th, 2014

Twenty-year-old Taguchi Hiro has spent the last two years of his life living as a hikikomori—a shut-in who never leaves his room and has no human interaction—in his parents’ home in Tokyo. As Hiro tentatively decides to reenter the world, he spends his days observing life around him from a park bench. Gradually he makes friends with Ohara Tetsu, a middle-aged salaryman who has lost his job but can’t bring himself to tell his wife, and shows up every day in a suit and tie to pass the time on a nearby bench. As Hiro and Tetsu cautiously open up to each other, they discover in their sadness a common bond. Regrets and disappointments, as well as hopes and dreams, come to the surface until both find the strength to somehow give a new start to their lives.


Go, Went, Gone Cover Image
By Jenny Erpenbeck, Susan Bernofsky (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9780811225946
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - September 26th, 2017

Go, Went, Gone tells the tale of Richard, a retired classics professor who lives in Berlin. His wife has died, and he lives a routine existence until one day he spies some African refugees staging a hunger strike in Alexanderplatz. Curiosity turns into compassion and an inner transformation as he visits their shelter, interviews them, and becomes embroiled in their harrowing fates. Go, Went, Gone is a scathing indictment of Western policy toward the European refugee crisis, but also a touching portrait of a man who finds he has more in common with the Africans than he realizes.


My Father Was a Man on Land and a Whale in the Water Cover Image
By Michelle Steinbeck, Jen Calleja (Translator)
$12.95
ISBN: 9781850773184
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Global Book Sales - Darf Publishers - October 18th, 2018

A child attacks Loribeth with an iron while she is sleeping. In retaliation Loribeth throws the iron onto the child from an upstairs window, packs the damaged body into a suitcase and sets off on her travels. Thus starts Steinbeck’s unusual, poetic novella about a young woman’s transition from childhood to adulthood. Loribeth and her suitcase begin an odyssey through nightmarish locations in search of her absent father. What ensues is a Freudian adult fairytale.


The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine Cover Image
By Alina Bronsky, Tim Mohr (Translated by)
$15.00
ISBN: 9781609450069
Availability: Backordered
Published: Europa Editions - April 26th, 2011

Rosa Achmetowna is the outrageously nasty and wily narrator of this rollicking family saga. When she discovers that her seventeen-year-old daughter, “stupid Sulfia,” is pregnant by an unknown man she does everything to thwart the pregnancy, employing a variety of folkloric home remedies. But despite her best efforts the baby, Aminat, is born nine months later at Soviet Birthing Center Number 134. Much to Rosa’s surprise and delight, dark eyed Aminat is a Tartar through and through and instantly becomes the apple of her grandmother’s eye. While her good for nothing husband Kalganow spends his days feeding pigeons and contemplating death at the city park, Rosa wages an epic struggle to wrestle Aminat away from Sulfia, whom she considers a woefully inept mother. When Aminat, now a wild and willful teenager, catches the eye of a sleazy German cookbook writer researching Tartar cuisine, Rosa is quick to broker a deal that will guarantee all three women a passage out of the Soviet Union. But as soon as they are settled in the West, the uproariously dysfunctional ties that bind mother, daughter and grandmother begin to fray.


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