A few evenings ago I went out and left Rupert in charge of the children. The next morning when I got up I found Bea on the sofa reading Proust. In French.
“What’s going on?” I asked him. He told me he had read them the beginning of A la Recherche du Temps Perdu as a bedtime story the night before. He got out of bed (unusual before his cup of tea) to come and look at Bea.
“Are you enjoying the book?” he asked her.
“I am,” she replied. “But it’s not like a book, more like poetry.”
I think we have a literary critic in the making. And now I can bore people at dinner parties for years to come by boasting “well, of course Bea was reading Proust when she was eight, in the original French, bien sur.”
As for baby Bea, she has read six pages (more than I have ever read) and is still very fond of it. I hope she experiences a similar love affair to the one I had with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and the Famous Five at her age.
Her new hero Proust describes it very well: “There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book.”
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2009