Sick reading?

Despite being in favour of feeling well, I seem to have a track record of liking books about illness.

The small, classroom library in my first year at school. Maybe first two years, with me aged between six and eight. Because I can remember which classroom I was in, and which teacher I had. I think it was once a week that we got to choose books to borrow from a selection lined up around the classroom.

There was one book, which I often think back to, that I borrowed many times. I have no idea of the title, nor of the author. It was ‘just’ a book that I really liked reading. The ‘plot’ was along the lines of young girl goes into hospital… There’s a few of those.

Then there’s the book I think of as being about a young girl who was orphaned by the Spanish flu. And there was a coat.

Except, the girl with the coat had parents, so I am thinking it’s two books. Both of which I own[ed], having stolen/borrowed them from my much older Cousin. So somewhere on a shelf I might be able to find them.

But again, it doesn’t matter much what they were, only that I enjoyed them so much.

The Spanish flu story introduced me to the fact that there was such an epidemic, many years before. And our orphaned heroine was – I suspect – of the goody goody type. Or an Anne Shirley, but Norwegian.

The coat tale just goes to prove that what goes round comes round. Give away your lovely new pale blue winter coat to a needy child (because you can wear your old one a bit longer), and that child, poor though they may be, will save your life later when you are unwell.

It makes you wonder what similar books of unknown background will remain in the memories of today’s readers, decades from now. And I very much doubt I would ever have parted with a pale blue coat.

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