This novel is both my second and third book. I started it as a senior in college, where I wrote much of the first draft by hand in spiral notebooks. I envisioned the story as huge, panoramic like a Hudson River School painting. When I began the novel, I could scarcely envision an end. The whole enterprise of seemed like Kaaterskill Falls themselves, giant boulders and crashing water, and at the same time a thousand details, smooth river stones, and tiny fish and the jagged ends of leaves. I hoped to capture the landscape of my mother’s childhood summer house and to recreate for her the world she had known. I also wanted to be George Eliot. This was a tall order for a twenty-one year old writer. My first draft was a mess. I put it aside while I went to graduate school and wrote the short stories that appear in The Family Markowitz. While I was writing my dissertation, I picked up Kaaterskill Falls again. I looked at the book and thought about the characters, people I still dreamed about. I thought about the place, the mountains and the trees, the shade there, the deer in the forest. I wanted to do justice to the world I remembered. The only way was to rewrite my book from scratch. I’d been too young before to manage all the threads of my story. I’d been impatient, lacking experience about what to tell first and what to save for later. Now I knew more. I was older. I had written many short stories. I was a mother. I understood that there are no shortcuts for creating worlds. Slowly, cautiously, I began a long labor of love.