Beryl, on death: “No, you should never choose death, but it chooses you. Sometimes you know it’s coming, like my mother, and sometimes it takes you by surprise, like my friend Ariel’s uncle who got killed in a hunting accident. Sooner or later, we all get chosen, we all get taken from this world into the next. Whether we end up in Heaven or Hell, and what we do with our lives in the meantime-those are the choices we get to make.

I finally made friends with my father when I entered my twenties. We had so little in common when I was a boy, and I am certain I had been a disappointment to him. He did not ask for a child with a book of its own world. He wanted a son who did what he had done: swam and boxed and played rugby, and drove cars at speed with abandon and joy, but that was not what he had wound up with.

The excitement of dreams coming true is beyond the description of words.

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