Flora and her brother, Julian, live with Person and Dad, their forever family after being in several foster placements that are hazy in their memory. Person is the name Flora secretly calls her adoptive forever mom, because she’s had too many moms and therefore calling someone “Mom” has lost any special meaning.
In fact, Flora and Julian believe they never had a biological mom–the book is sprinkled with theories on how they came to be. Maybe they came from the television, or the horizon, or crabs. “We come from the chaos, my brother and me. We were born out of the screams of other kids. We’re made of their tears. We grew from their temper tantrums.”
These theories are an attempt to create an origin story, because somewhere in the foster system, records, pictures and life books of the two siblings were lost. Heartwrenching and honest, Forever, or a Long, Long Time by Caela Carter is a complex and poetic look at what makes a family, what forever means and how we can heal after trauma.