The beginning is never where you think it is. Our lives are so important to us that we tend to think the story of them begins with out birth. Yet that is not so. Human lives are not pieces of string that can be separated out from a knot of others and laid out straight. Families are webs. Impossible to touch one part of it without setting the rest vibrating. Impossible to understand one part without having a sense of the whole.
–The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield–