When I was a child I discovered three authors who have voyaged with me through life. What a debt of gratitude I owe these women who have strengthened, enriched, educated, supported and amused me for so long. I have since found other authors, some considered ‘worthier’, and deeply enjoyed them, but in difficult times I return to my old friends of childhood and reread them with undiminished delight. I don’t believe that the secret of the power is merely nostalgia. It’s something much simpler: they work. I take them like medicine. In fact I prefer them to any medicine I have ever experienced.
Where to begin? At an impressionable age I discovered Georgette Heyer and fell in love with her wit, her style, the historic settings, the sheer romanticism of her novels. Which was maybe a bit unfortunate as it took a little time to learn that the men I were reading about weren’t likely to walk into my life. What a sad day it was when I realised that. It required extensive rereading to cheer myself up, by which time the old familiar spell was working upon me all over again, albeit somewhat more realistically. But Heyer’s humour never failed to give me a lift when the going became heavy. While my reasons for returning to her kept changing, the effect remained consistent. I felt better for the reading. [Read more…] about Books as friends … and medicine