Beth Alvarado writes so clearly and honestly about some of the best and worst things that can happen to a person that her essay collection seems like a marvelous gift.
Humility is at the heart of this collection of personal essays on grief and partnership, parenting and spirituality, addiction and illness, intercultural family dynamics and environmental racism. A capacious subjectivity keeps widening as Beth Alvarado’s unlikely life gets accounted here, but most moving to me is the self-understanding that deepens as the book unfolds, the gradual self-determination that makes solidarity and love more possible.
Alvarado’s gorgeous essays evoke the fluidity and awe of an underwater journey. She offers us a tour of grief—its causes, its cultural conditions, its grasp. We move across time as though every beat of history were immediately available alongside the present moment. In delineating, with devotion, with humor, losses that are at once ordinary and extraordinary, material and supernatural, she offers the reader a chance to better see what’s right in front of them. This book is an act of generosity, of friendship, of remembrance. I felt my head turned by it, encouraged to see my everyday loves with wider eyes.
—AISHA SABATINI SLOAN
Alvarado’s essays are devotions. The grace of spirit as she narrates and comes to terms with her considerable losses—as well as her transformative loves—is astonishing, equaled only by the expressive grace of her writing.