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Proserpina’s father provided for her education, and at thirteen she stands on a platform, waiting for the train to boarding school. Her mother, who attended the same school, runs the fob chain of her late husband’s watch through her hands again and again. She wishes he hadn’t wanted this.

Proserpina is typically stoic. She’s read enough about boarding school to understand that it is a kind of doom; that bright girls, and those not naturally cruel, are sausage filling. She is bright and kind. But she won’t be scrap meat.

Her mother shivers when they kiss goodbye: Proserpina’s lips are cold.