"Here is my book. Mama," Loren said. "Will you hear me read?"
"Certainly." Lora felt the skinny little boy leaning against her knee and felt the tears welling up again inside her. Two more months and then Loren must be sent to his father. To be made into the kind of man I despise, the kind of man who fills Amazon Guild Houses. Because of the rules of the Guild House that a boy child may not live among women, and Loren was no longer a baby.
Janna came bursting in, her hair long and messy around her shoulders. "Mama, what's for dinner?"
"I haven't thought about it yet, Janni," Lora said. "Why don't you go out in the kitchen and see if there are any potatoes left; I'll fry them in goose fat."
"I'm tired of potatoes," Janna said, "When will we have meat again?"
"When we can afford it." Lora said. "Janna, why are you wearing your holiday smock?"
"Because it's the only decent dress I have," Janna whined. "Am I supposed to go around in breeches all the time like you and Marji?"
"Why not? What is wrong with them? You can work properly in them," Lora said, but she might as well have spoken to the wind.