I have not been reading much lately. This is unusual and a little alarming.
Most of the time, it’s just a matter of finding the right book to fit my mood, but I was in the middle of The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin when things got difficult (a couple of weeks ago) and I just gave up and retreated into … Call the Midwife!
Actually, I now have the books the TV series is based on on my Kindle, although I’ve been warned that the writing isn’t great. Still, nuns and nurses, how could I not enjoy them? (When I was still a Roman Catholic, I did think of taking holy orders, but I knew that the rule of obedience would be my undoing. Do most RC girls have fantasies of becoming nuns? I suppose there is a certain romance about the profession (?) if all you know of it is Audrey Hepburn looking beautifully wistful in The Nun‘s Story.)
Naturally, Call the Midwife reminds of my years as a nurse, although things had changed totally by the time I trained, in the 90s (at the District General Hospital in Eastbourne, East Sussex). I did not enjoy midwifery, but when the protagonist is referred to as Nurse Lee, it brings back all kinds of memories.
I suppose this series is like a comfort read — there are heartbreaking episodes but also much joy and celebration.
I am now reading Grace Paley’s Enormous Changes at the Last Minute and The Abbess of Crewe by Muriel Spark, but I think I am due for a Barbara Pym re-read. I have checked and I re-read her novels in 2016 and, before that, in 2014. Apparently, I need to be Pym’ed every two years. Perhaps just my favourites: Excellent Women; Jane and Prudence; A Glass of Blessings; No Fond Return of Love; Some Tame Gazelle … hmm, actually I want to read them all. And I will make another attempt to read A Few Green Leaves, the only Pym I’ve not enjoyed and have never managed to finish reading.