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.
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.
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.
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.