Dedicated to Alvina, My Sister



When we were girls, my sister Alvina and I shared a bedroom with six mirrors, one over the vanity dresser, and five full-length mirrors on the closets that lined one wall of our room. This wall of mirrors created a huge, perpetual reflection of our daily lives, and I both loved the mirrors and took them for granted. On the opposite wall, we made shadow patterns by the light that shone in from our brothers’ room. In between, we had matching twin beds, islands for jumping.

The mirrors

The Mirrors

Pink ballerinas graced the wallpaper, sheer white curtains veiled the windows, and a view of the Mississippi River Valley beckoned outside. Cool, wintery stars lived in the black branches at night half of the year, and lush, cricket-rich breezes blew in the screens the other half.

Doubling mirrors together makes another world.

Doubling mirrors together makes another world. My niece tries it.

It was a magical bedroom to grow up in, perfect for dress-up, drawing, singing, dolls, cards, puzzles, games, and imagination. I was fascinated by the world that showed up when I pulled one of the mirrors around so it nearly doubled on itself.

But the most wonderful aspect of that room was my playmate and confidante, Veen. Quick, funny, sympathetic, fierce, curious, silly, and full of ideas, my sister was my first friend and collaborator. We shared drawers, hairbrushes, and secrets. She set the bar for every friendship of mine that ever followed and to this day, she inspires me.

Veen+Caragh copy

Alvina and Caragh, Sisters Forever

When I started writing The Rule of Mirrors, I naturally thought of Veen and the mirrors we grew up with, and I knew immediately that I would dedicate the book to her. Rosie’s story is about reflections, about find ourselves in the ones we love, about cherishing our sister hearts.

I sent Alvina an ARC of the story last fall with the dedication as a surprise, and she instantly called me up. “Our bedroom with all the mirrors!” she said. She knew. I knew she would. She’s my sister.

8 Responses to Dedicated to Alvina, My Sister

  • Can completely remember. Such fun memories.

  • I was always sad my daughter never got to play around the basement fireplace. We played and played and played. We got to duck out around the fireplace doors. Stand in front of the doors. Too much fun for even the new owners to compete.

  • Leah ~ Didn’t we have fun? Those memories are so vivid. 🙂
    All best,

  • It was a very nice nest for fledgling O’B girls, my dear cousin. I remember a lot of sisterly and cousinly silliness and fun in that room during spend overs. Thanks for sharing. I am smiling at that picture. xxxooo Maura

  • Maura ~ Veen and I were just talking this morning about all the cousinly fun we had! Why didn’t we take any pictures of our top secret meetings? Let us now dance to American Pie or Smile A Little Smile for Me Rosemarie.

  • Wonderful story and I love your writing style! I have a sister as well although she has passed away and there are many fond memories!

  • Kim ~ Thanks for your kindness. I’m sorry you’ve lost your sister. Like the memories, those bonds are sweet and lasting, and I’m glad you’ve had sisterly love, too.
    All best,

  • Kim,

    My name is Terri Cowen and I work for an Oil and Gas Company in Golden, Colorado. The Weld County records reflect that your sister, Alvina, owned a mineral interest in some lands. I am not sure if she is the correct Alvina, but can you please contact me? My number is 303-526-5971 and our company name is Wells Petroleum, Inc. Thank you for your consideration.

    Terri Cowen

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