“I think books are like people, in the sense that they'll turn up in your life when you most need them.” ―Emma Thompson
A dear friend, who's weathered the unthinkable over the past few months, now finds herself weathering even more as her sister, and closest confidante, fights for her life in an ICU. So my friend does what she does best: she soldiers on. After a day of sitting bedside with nothing but worry and the whir of life-saving machines for company, she decided a book was in order. Enter Flavia de Luce. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie had been languishing on her bookshelf for years—perhaps waiting, as my imaginary BFF Emma would say, for when she needed it most. My friend, who's as practical as I am romantic, would argue she grabbed it on her way out the door simply because it was small and easy to fit in her bag. Potato, patahto.
After giving the book a quick once-over, her brother-in-law declared Flavia wasn't really his cup of tea and settled in with a newspaper instead. Undeterred, my friend sat down next to her sweet unresponsive sis and started reading aloud. A few chapters in, said brother-in-law suddenly stopped her with a "Wait, back up...did you just say Flavia found a dead body in her garden?" To which she replied, "What was that about tea?" He moved in closer and begged her to continue. He was hooked. After another hour or so, the nurse, who'd been in and out all morning, and otherwise sitting at her desk just outside the room, came in and shyly asked for some clarification on what Inspector Hewitt had just said to Dogger. Clearly, the first meeting of their ICU book club was underway.
Buoyed by signs of improvement and signals that her sister takes comfort in the sound of her voice, she reads on. Because books, like humor, make the unbearable bearable.