A story of hope

August 15, 2012

Les Tres Riches Heures de Mrs Mole, by Ronald Searle (Blue Door, RRP $25):

Author/illustrator Ronald Searle is perhaps best known for being the creator of fictional boarding school St Trinian’s and co-creator of the Molesworth series, along with Geoffrey Willans.

However, in this latest book the subject matter is much more personal. On New Year’s Eve 1969, Searle’s wife Monica was diagnosed with a rare and virulent form of breast cancer. Each time she underwent treatment, Ronald produced a Mrs Mole drawing “to cheer every dreaded chemotherapy session and evoke the blissful future ahead”.

The resulting 47 drawings are beautifully optimistic and intimate. They were never intended for publication but tell a story of survival against the odds.

And a story of hope, belief and love.

Jillian Allison-Aitken

I come from the other land down under, where men are men, and sheep are nervous. I'm a sub-editor and in the past have been a proof-reader, news editor and web editor. I am also an ex-columnist, and book and software reviewer for the local daily newspaper.I still read. A lot. And surf the web. Also a lot.You'll find a little about both of those pastimes here, and on By George.

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