It should be easy to compile stories about caregiving—lord knows there are enough of them. But for An Uncertain Inheritance: Writers on Caring for Family (Morrow), editor Nell Casey took the hard road, holding out for the subtlest essays by writers who prize honesty above sentiment. Helen Schulman writes about that awful moment of thinking, "When are you going to die already?" Ann Harleman describes multiple sclerosis, not a sudden disaster but "something huge and black that descends slowly and inexorably and surrounds you. More like a dirigible." Harsh reality, faced head-on.