“Put the book down, darling,” my mother said from her chair beside the mirror.
“The chapter’s end is only a short way off,” I replied, reaching out with my other hand to flip the page. Despite the ache in my shoulder from holding the book at arm’s length so the dressmakers could work on my gown, I didn’t want to give it up.
“For heaven’s sake, you’ve read it a dozen times,” Mother said, rising to snatch the book from my hand. I half lunged for it, an action answered by the jabs of a dozen pins in places sensitive enough to...