My mom happened to be watching a documentary on Agatha Christie when I was at her house doing laundry today. I only caught the last 20 minutes of it or so, but it seemed to be centered on her summer retreat called Gardensomethingorother, which is going to be or has been opened to the public for the first time. She spent all of her summers there where she no longer had to be Dame Agatha Christie but instead had been Mrs. M–a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She didn’t write in the months she spent there; she swam, went boating, played tennis, and lazily watched the river traffic pass by.
None of this is entirely important or to the point.
I had the distinct impression, while shoving a load in the washing machine, that even though Agatha despised the fame and social aspect of the literati life (because she was shy not because she was a snob), she enjoyed what she was doing when she was doing it. I had imagined she’d been totally invested in all her stories–with the plots, the characters, the process. They were her life and her family and she wouldn’t have dared abandon them until everything had been worked out to the end.
I want to feel that way again.