Age of Iron
How we cite our quotes:
"My husband and I parted a long time ago," I said. "He is dead now. I have a daughter in America. She left in 1976 and hasn't come back. She is married to an American. They have two children of their own."
A daughter. Flesh of my flesh. You. (1.42-43)
In very few words, we get a lot of information on what's going on in Mrs. Curren's family and how she feels about it. It's unclear whether she and her husband parted because he died, or if they got divorced and then he died. Still, it's clear that she's no longer married to the man and that her daughter is out of the picture. Mrs. Curren went from being someone with a traditional nuclear family to someone who has nobody but herself.
I am going to stop answering the telephone. There is no one I am ready to speak to except you and the fat man in the picture, the fat man in heaven; and neither of you will, I think, call. (1.133)
Huh? OK, so here, Mrs. Curren claims that there are two people she's ready to talk to: God and her daughter. Mrs. Curren seems to think a phone call from her daughter is about as likely as hearing from God himself – super interesting (and unfortunate).
Having done my work, Florence turned to her own. She put supper on the stove and took the two little girls up to the bathroom. Watching her wash them, wiping hard behind the ears, between the legs, deft, decisive, impervious to their whines, I thought: What an admirable woman, but how glad I am she is not my mother! (2.6)
As a mom, as in her life in general, Florence is all business. Mrs. Curren seems to have a softer, kinder vision of motherhood in mind.