Issue #101: “Familial Kindness” by Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum

Dear Readers,

We’re sorry for taking so long to get “Familial Kindness” in your mailboxes. The change-over from first class to bulk mail resulted in a delay in our schedule. But now it’s here, and what a story! I first read “Familial Kindness” on the subway, and I was so drawn in by the strength of the langauge and characters that I missed my stop. By the time I got out and onto the opposite platform, I knew that I’d found a One Story story. This piece starts out deceptively simple–a distant relative arrives for a wedding–but with each paragraph it strips away the layers of Alma’s life, until there are two losses revealed–Charlie’s and Alma’s, side by side. The dialogue throughout is simple, clear and honest, and yet does so much work. I’m sure a reviewer would call this story “quiet”. But there is nothing quiet about it. There are screams, underneath all the sand that has built up in Alma’s house over the years. And there is also the courage that comes with living day by day through a life that is not what you expected. I encourage you to read through Kirsten’s Q&A to learn more about the story behind this particular story. And let us know what you think!

3 thoughts on “Issue #101: “Familial Kindness” by Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum

  1. This is such a lovely story. Kudos to Kirsten and thanks to One Story for the great issue.

  2. This story was “sneaky” if that makes sense. I started reading it and just got sucked in with out realizing it–in a good way.

  3. Almost 50, kids out of the house, not clear about my next job and this story told me about the happiness that comes over you as you are looking back on your choices, about a good kid raised by someone who wasn’t sure at the beginning of her run if she’d be a good parent. I cried and felt good.

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