A brilliant collection of personal essays from a quietly subversive writer. 'Linda Burgess can make you laugh and break your heart, often in the same sentence. Clear-eyed and wise, these elegant essays are the stories we share to survive.' Diana Wichtel *** 'You'll want to read this in one sitting but it's worth savouring every line.' Madeleine Chapman *** 'Somehow it makes perfect sense that a great New Zealand memoir would be written by a dreamy, left-handed wife of an ex-All Black.' Steve Braunias *** These pieces read like the freshest of recent novels: clever, restrained and wittily observant. They range across the personal and the observational. There are essays on Linda's lifetime of being an All Black wife (once an AB, always an AB); her love of teaching, education and the young; and a powerful essay on the death of her baby, Toby, striking in its honesty. Linda is interested in family and friendship; shared and sometimes distorted memories. Her personal truths link to universal truths. She explores the era in which she grew up, and her experiences are timeless. She looks at living abroad, at children leaving home, at house-hunting in Wellington, at travelling with a grandchild, at Leonard Cohen concerts as tribal gatherings. Moving but never sentimental, Linda Burgess's essays are an engrossing read.