The Gauthiers suffered through a rough half year, and things were particularly bad since the middle of November. One day last fall I was supposed to just leave some books off at the library and then race out of the building because I had so many things I needed to do related to sick family members. But I stayed to hunt for something that would divert me from the reality of my life. A book. Preferably part of a series so that I could read and read and stay plenty diverted.
I found nada that day, but later in the year I was in another library where I stumbled upon the second volume of The Chronicles of Chrestomanci by Diana Wynne Jones. I'll be discussing the Chrestomanci series in a later post, but for now it's enough to say that I found my diversion.
I bought Volume I of The Chronicles because I had to have it right away. The Pinhoe Egg is part of this series, and even though I'd read it before, with mixed feelings, I read it again. I read a book of short stories about Chrestomanci. I bought Volume III, even though by that point I'd read one of the two books it contains.
In fact, I bought everything Chrestomanci, whether I'd just read library editions or not, because I was afraid that some day I would need them again, and what if I couldn't get them because they were out of print? What if some day I wanted to give them to someone?
Last week, when things went from bad to worse here, I picked up one of the books, just a couple of months after having finished it, and started reading it again. Okay, it wasn't quite the escape it was the first time, but there was nothing else in the house that was better. I went to the library today and picked up a few things, but if they don't do it for me, I'll stick with Chrestomanci.
Chrestomanci is a figure in a magical world whose function is to control magic. He comes when people call him, and he fixes things. (Though I'll have more to say about that another time.) You don't have to be the psychological equivalent of a rocket scientist to see why someone experiencing bad times would be attracted to him.
We had a family member reading multiple volumes of Fox Trot last week. Another recalled during an earlier loss reading issue after issue of National Geographic. Clearly, when it comes to comfort, each goes his or her own way.
Feel free to suggest your favorite comfort book.