She’d thought primogeniture, with its assumptions about the capacity of women and its willful rejection of second- and third-born children, would be the bane of her childhood and then adulthood, the fuel to feed decades of in-fighting and competition–though in her mischievous teenage years she’d reconsidered, thought maybe it could be a handy excuse to shirk any semblance of responsibility in favor of reckless adventure–but now, as she stood before the family monument and toed the edge of her brother’s grave next to their sister’s, she wished the eldest and middle children were still living, standing beside her to help her assuage her grief and manage all the nasty bureaucratic details that sought to distract her from the overwhelming urge to cry.

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