Forever reading has been essential, the necessary fix, the support system. Her life has been informed by reading.

She has read not just for distraction, sustenance, to pass the time, but she has read in a state of primal innocence, reading for enlightenment, for instruction, even. She has read to find out how sex works, how babies are born, she has read to discover what it is to be good, or bad; she has read to find out if things are the same for others as they are for her—then, discovering that frequently they are not, she has to read to find out what it is that other people are experiencing that she is missing...”

Penelope Lively.