A story of hope

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.

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