As a young bride in 1957, Catholic-raised Virginia Tranel naively imagined herself a "willing, eager vessel" - and she proved to be a prolific one. In this wonderfully wise and humorous, loving and reflective book, she looks at her life through the ten children she joyously brought into this world. We follow the Tranels, their van full to brimming, crisscrossing the country: to Iowa to visit the older generation; to Phoenix, where the father attends a conference and the kids commandeer the posh resort pool (by dint of their number alone); to Wyoming and Montana in search of the perfect place to put down roots. As the children come into their own, sometimes they become the teachers: a daughter helps her mother meet new challenges during a stay in Spain; a son working for the National Park Service in Alaska opens up new wonders to his parents; another son shares his firsthand experience of the horrors of September 11. And woven through the narrative are the richly described details of Virginia Tranel's domestic world - the ordinary moments of her extraordinary family life. A moving testament to the power of family, to the bonds that hold us together, and to our connection with the land that nurtures us - a truly American story.
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