Leslie Jamison is stepmother to Lily, age 6. Lily’s mother died of cancer just before Lily turned three. Jamison explores fairy tale stepmothers both as the rare “port in the storm” and the much more common “stock villain” — stereotyped by cruelty, abuse, and withholding affection — as she reflects on her relationship with Lily and on navigating the fraught role of stand-in parent.
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