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Day 2

W-3 by Bette Howland

Chapter I (p. 13–23, to end)

October 20, 2022 by Lynn Steger Strong

"NOW," Henrietta says. Only employees and externs speak in all caps. An incredible move, jarring and abrasive, just as, I imagine, these directives must have felt. Howland is so of the world, the ward so often a "we" but never with those tasked to watch over and care for them.

Mom is here as a cost-saving measure, the same reason she and Dad are caretaking at the Gulf Coast estate. The idea of care as something done out of efficiency, as work, feels important. Where does care borne of love live in this book?

"Tell people where I am… ask them what they want me to make for them." Bette never finished any crafts on "W-3," but it does feel like a perfect landing point for this first chapter; she has, after all, made us this book.

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