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Wonderful balance and clarity. This story hits childlike remembrances–all the sounds and smells–pitch-perfectly. The summation is amazing, juxtaposing society letting her rock the afro, with her sister rejecting her tattered childhood dreams.
I liked the contrast between the parent's perspective and the child's. As parents, we try to see from our children's eyes, but sometimes we get it all wrong.
Very beautiful story. I feel richer having read it.
This is probably the most beautiful story yet published in Narrative Magazine. Can you find more like this, please? It has all the qualities mentioned in the other comments and includes gentle people such as the father. It's just beautiful prose.