Once upon a time, on a lovely spring day in the English countryside, three tiny girls played side by side by side— cousins and future competitors.
The eldest, Sophie, watched an insect crawling across the path, squatting awkwardly so that her hem dragged in the dirt. The middle, Phoebe, sweet and unrestrained, chased a butterfly. The youngest, Deirdre, even then a stunningly beautiful infant, grabbed Sophie’s bug and ate it, ignoring Sophie’s howl of protest.
Their mothers, Sophie’s a frustrated and resentful widow, Phoebe’s a kindly but