It has been fourteen days since MOTHEREST went from being my little dreamcloset to a shared, holdable space. I was a reader long before I was a writer, and I'll always be a reader first, and I cannot express my gratitude to those readers who have given their time and attention to my book. Every story is a transaction between the person who tells it and the person who hears it, an act of collaboration and co-creation, and I want to thank you for hearing it, for allowing it to exist and unfold in your minds. To read a book is to give it life. I refuse to be blasé about any of this. Those of you who have written me beautiful notes about your experiences with Agnes and her story, who have taken time away from other priorities to give me generous feedback that I feel I do not deserve: please know how grateful I am. I have anxious days and fearful days and stuck days but mostly I have thankful days, for my health and my eyesight and my God and my fingers and my family. The world can be overwhelmingly dark. Every day I try to find one way to light one light, sometimes off the taper of another. Thank you for lighting me up. Thank you for reading my words, for reading books. Thank you.