I have got this black cushion. It is velvet with a spray of  dark florals. Like a Dutch painting in textile form. I cannot sleep without it. I clasp it like a teddy bear and hold on for dear life, my back and my deaf ear to Ste, in case he breaths (because people who dare to breathe next to me are candidates for homicide don’t you know) – snuggling my cushion and facing whatever terror my relentless nightmares might bring, staunchly alone.

Each and every morning I wake up still clutching it. Breathing in its sweet lavender scent and wishing it was still the wee small hours. But not this morning. This morning I woke up with my Kindle wedged firmly between my ample bosom and for a moment I panicked and rooted around the bed in an effort to dis-lodge that which felt like a bad case of indigestion and trace my cushiony friend. Shocked that it should abandon me. Bewildered for a moment by a dream in which I appalled the congregation of a wedding by dressing in head to foot red and sobbing whenever anyone looked at me.

All this to tell you that last night I happened across a little book of literary wonderful. And though it was late and Ste was not only breathing, but taking his life in his hands by ever so gently snoring, I found myself capable of rising above my horror (and natural born killer instinct) because I had been transported in to quite the most wonderful of early twentieth century middlebrow domestic fiction.

“Everything that’s happening to us—yes, everything—is to be regarded as a lark. See? This is my last word. This. Is. Going. To. Be. A. Lark.”

The Lark by E. Nesbit is everything us BrocanteHomers, believe a book ought to be. Full of delightful young girls and domestic detail of the sort that includes knitting and flowers, black rabbits and pinafores fashioned from tablecloths. But most of all The Lark is resplendent with good cheer of the kind exclusive to the hybrid that is a result of a children’s writer creating grown-up fiction.

Which is why as I turned over the last virtual page of Elizabeth Fair’s also charming Brampton Wick, I hopped straight into The Lark and almost immediately regretted it for here were words too delightful to be put to bed. I don’t want to tell you too much, because I want you to read it (Read it I tell you!!), but suffice to say I fell asleep with my bedside lamp still glowing and abandoned my cushiony lover in favor of falling asleep still clutching my Kindle.

So there you have it. Not a book I have to apologise for reading, but a book so good it saved a mans life. For heaven knows when the snoring turned to snorting, he deserved to die.

Buy The Lark on Amazon.Com here ($3.99) and on Amazon.Co.Uk here.