The book is made up of two timelines going in opposite directions and meeting in the middle. Written in alternating sections, one timeline proceeds in a fairly straightforward memoir style through Ward’s early life, while the other works backward through a time in her life in which five young men in her life died in quick succession. The timelines meet in the middle, and Ward’s skill is evident simply in the fact that the structure isn’t confusing. Instead, the two timelines contextualize and reinforce each other, supported by the vivid imagery and lyrical sentences. Ward’s account of growing up poor, Black, and Southern is haunting, as she takes the reader deep with her into both her connection with place and community and into her grief.

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