They were not children anymore. She had to keep reminding herself of this fact. At nineteen and seventeen, they were almost grown up. She clung greedily to this almost, but she knew it would not last long, this hovering, flirting with adulthood. Already they were beings apart, fast on their way to shedding the fierce hungry mother-need.
I'm glad I'm reading this in a bound version, because there are some descriptions that I'm already stopping to savor, but also because there is so much that I don't understand. I actually stopped reading for a bit while I did some internet searching on the Bangladesh War of Independence and on East Pakistan, of which I knew nothing whatsoever. So now I think I know enough to at least get a sense of the historical, political, and social issues that affect the human story, although I'm sure most of it will still go over my head.
This book is beginning as a sweet, sad story of a widowed mother who lost and recovered her children, but clearly it's about to descend into some real horrors.