You'll need to work hard to fit the magical, dangerous figure of the heron into a modern-world setting. I found myself searching for a moral outworking of the violence suffered and inflicted by these very human characters. But it's so worth it - for the beauty of imagery and in the emotional depth of the final reconciliation.
They waited. Ren was dozing now, sliding in and out of consciousness. Scenes of heat and rain flashed through her. She could have been kinder, she thought. She should have been less cold, should have cultivated better, deeper relationships. Other people- she should have poured more energy into helping other people. What would they say about her, those people back in the city, those that were left? That she was hard. Yes. They'd say she was hard as granite. That they didn't really know her. Maybe they'd say she was a good mother. Maybe they'd say nothing at all- maybe most of them hadn't even noticed when she left. Throbs and flashes of sickness kept washing through her, on great blood-borne waves, right up until the moment she saw, for the second time in her life, a bird made of water.