Scent memories are hard to shake. Every street in my city has a lilac tree.
Almost twenty years ago–God, can that be right?–I lived in a house in a hollow beside a railway embankment. The hollow was filled in thick with lilac trees and the scent mingled with the iron smell of the tracks and the dew at dawn.
I had a bad time in that house. Every year when the scent comes around again I remember how I lived then.
I wrote it into Scars of Kinship, like Alexander McQueen stitching human hair and fingernails into the seams of his garments. I don’t know how it feels to a reader, this half-secret weight. But I knew, when I figured out what this book was about, that it had to take place during lilac season.