Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Quote of the Day

"You had better keep back," Louella was muttering gloomily, "or you'll all be getting it too."
"Oh, pooh, we've all had mumps," said Charlotte, "don't worry about that-" Susan opened her mouth to say something and quickly shut it again. "-the important thing is, what are you going to do?"
"Do?" said Louella, getting gloomier by the minute, "just lie here and get ruined. Goodness knows when Mrs. Telford will be back, and I'll never be able to get anyone else at this late stage - not anyone who is any good-"
Susan was jumping about from foot to foot, opening her mouth and trying to get a word in: eventually she burst out, "Och, Louella, let us look after your wee shop for you!"
There was a silence, scarcely broken by Midge's usual little sigh. She had long ago given up trying to prevent Susan from indulging in those knight-errant schemes of hers: but that didn't mean she liked them any better. She could see it all - instead of those blissful, peaceful holidays - long-lies in bed, tea in front of the fire, skating, maybe, on the pond in the park, jaunts up to the shops in town, even just glorious peaceful messing about doing absolutely nothing - instead of all that, she could picture what it would be like, day after day of that mad scramble like this afternoon until they were all off their heads. It was no trouble for Susan to rush into the breach and offer her services, she liked bustling about helping people, but it was a different story for Midge- Then she glanced over at Louella, whose poor face was already, Midge thought, beginning to swell, and felt a pig.
Susan, Charlotte and Bill were all speaking at once.
"I could be the delivery boy-"
"Louella, admit, that's a brilliant idea of Susan's, you must let us-"
"Och, Louella, we could easily do it! We'd love it, and you could lie here in peace and get better without a care in the world!"
For what seemed to be the first time for a very long while, Louella did smile a bit at that.

From NO TROUBLE FOR SUSAN, Chapter 2, Crisis. This, the eighth book in the series, and the final book, A Job for Susan, are often mixed up by readers. Both stories take place in Whichwood Village in the run-up to Christmas, and both stories see Susan and the Carmichaels helping out at a struggling woman at a local shop. However, in the later book, the shop is an art gallery, run by Maggie, and Susan's whole family are now living in Wichwood Village and she has Tessa home with her for the Christmas holidays. The books set in Wichwood are my personal favourites and in my opinion A Job for Susan, Jane Shaw's last published work, is the best thing she ever wrote.