During World War II the then Princess Elizabeth, aged 14, went on the BBC’s Children’s Hour and told the children of Great Britain, ‘We know – every one of us – that In the end all will be well.’ I’m channelling the spirit of HM The Queen at home – which, of course, doesn’t explain why I’m dressed like Jackie Collins – and planning to use it as a motto for the foreseeable future. While I’m taking steps to stay healthy because this is for the good of all, I’m also making the most of the opportunity to enjoy the company of books, music and a fake hen. I hope you and your loved ones are safe and well, tucked up inside and discovering new stories – because sharing stories is fundamental to all of us.
Stories can provide comfort and reassurance; they can make us feel less alone and less strange. They can inform us and carry us away to new places and times. Sometimes they make us feel a touch of schadenfreude too, and that’s okay! We read for different reasons at different times. If you’re looking to be transported but still anchored in this world, I recommend the magical realist books of Francesca Lia Block (published as YA, but this adult loves them). For a wild ride that is one of the most moving and glorious books I’ve ever read, go for Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.
Stories can also be found in songs, and for those who haven’t yet found the many wonderful stories to be found in Australian country music, please go straight to Fanny Lumsden and her new album, Fallow (and her other albums too). Also go to Harmony James, Lachlan Bryan and Bennett Bowtell & Urquhart. And if you’d like more recommendations, send me a message at @sophiegreenbooks