An entirely unique concept – Hodgen tells the story of Mary Murphy’s life through elegies to five people who have shaped that life. The elegies are arranged in roughly chronological order, and are written from Mary’s point of view. There is the obvious inclusion of her mother, her uncle, and Mary’s college roommate, but also a high school classmate whose influence was perhaps indirect at best and a would-be composer living in a hotel in Maine where Mary also resides in the time between college and graduate school. The elegies each have a unique voice to them without losing their sense of cohesion. Hodgen has constructed a lovely examination of the impact people have on each other’s lives with or without intent.