Two weeks ago, Herr Husband and I decided to distance ourselves as a safety precaution. We cancelled all social engagements and apart from getting out in the fields for some exercise, we’re staying in.
This is not as dramatic as it might be for some as we both work from home anyway, so we’re used to spending time together. We get up early, walk the dog/go jogging/practise yoga, have breakfast and go to our respective work stations. So far, neither of us is feeling homicidal.
In the evenings, instead of meeting friends and family, we spend an hour shouting at the TV while the news is on, then we read. I’m finding myself drawn to rereading, perhaps due to the safety blanket of knowing what’s going to happen (in fiction, at least).
Here are a half a dozen hiding-places from reality:
Cold Comfort Farm, by Stella Gibbons. A comic novel of English country life in which Flora Poste visits some distant relatives, upending their lives and changing her own.
Le Grand Meaulnes, by Alain-Fournier. This sweeping story of love and the transition from child to adult is deeply touching in the romantic tradition.
Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married, by Marian Keyes. Any novel by Keyes does the trick. On the surface, this is frothy romance but has serious undertones as well as laughs.
Not Forgetting the Whale, by John Ironmonger. Perfect for when it feels the world is going wrong, this book reaffirms your faith in human nature.
Peace Like A River, by Leif Enger. A mixture of a cowboy tale and religious fable would not be my usual fare, but this book always works its magic.
To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. I don’t know how many times I’ve read this classic, but it never gets old.
Which worlds do you escape to when this one gets scary?