by Sandra Odell
When I’m writing I’m looking for characters that are different from me, but also familiar. I can see their motivations. I understand why they are doing the things they do. I connect with Henrietta through many of the matriarchs I’ve loved in my life. These women have guided me as a human being. My two grandmothers remind me a lot of Henrietta, and so it was important for me to tell a story that treats her as she should be treated: complex and deeply sympathetic.