How I wish I could be one of the many characters I find in books. I’d love to be Demelza Poldark from the Winston Graham Poldark series. I’d like to be a female version of Inspector Armand Gamache by Louise Penny. It would be fabulous to be any of the female characters in Dorothea Benton Frank’s books chronicling the lives of the women of Charleston, South Carolina. And now I’d love to be Maisie Dobbs, investigator and psychologist.
Maisie has a rags to riches story. Having to enter a life of service after her mother dies because her devoted father struggles to support them as a costermonger. Now I had to look that word up. It is someone who sells fruits and vegetables from a cart. Living in Pre-WWI London, life isn’t easy but Maisie has an insatiable curiosity. Her deepest love is to learn and in order to do so, she rises at 3 am to spend two hours in the great house’s library. Secretly of course because as a servant she wouldn’t be allowed to use the books.
Through a course of events Maisie is swept into a life as the protégé of the mysterious Dr. Maurice Blanche and Lady Rowan Compton becomes her sponsor. She goes from servant girl to student at Girton College part of Cambridge. But her plans are interrupted with the start of WW I. Maisie feels called to serve as a nurse even though she has no training. Lying about her age so she can serve, Maisie begins the first of a long line of life changing experiences.
Why do I wish I could be Maisie? Because Maisie has been taught to sit, legs folded and find her center. Using this technique she calms her inner self and can see more clearly. She has the ability to listen and listen well, respecting the speaker. She understands the body says as much or more than simple words. And she knows her body language and expressions speaks volumes. Never seeing herself as having the incredible and outstanding qualities others see in her, Maisie struggles to find her place. She is no longer a member of the service class but neither is she a member of the upper social class. I feel like Maisie. I don’t know where I belong. I was a wife and mother and now I am no longer a wife and my children have grown so being a mother isn’t the same. My economic status has changed from one of comfort to one of struggle. Is there a place in this world for me, like there is a place in the world for Maisie?