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Mary J. Koral

The Year The Trees Didn't Die

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The Year the Trees Didn’t Die: One Mother’s Memoir is a story of family that learns how to live with loss. My kids live in a world strangers took them to. Nothing of their pasts is known, as if they were not alive until they came to us. I promise them to make up for that. I will exchange loss for love, all of it: lost mother, lost father, birth name, language and country. But. The eldest son looks for his birth mother in every female Asian face. He grabs at whatever is in his line of vision.Our East Indian daughter runs wild at thirteen. Our Korean-born son hurls a book through a window. Shattered glass and cold surround us. “I’m damaged goods,” he says. “A crazy person.” Our lives spin off into chaos. Our daughter returns home bruised and pregnant. Our oldest son swallows loss in hidden six packs.

Our marriage heaves and lurches. The kids are a roller coaster ride I never imagined. The Year the Trees Didn’t Die speaks to every parent who has travelled through dark. It’s a story of love and survival.”
Mary J. Koral