“I lost touch with this really close friend of mine a few months ago when I came here to Scotland. I am not a native English speaker, and had not been an active reader in English [until] she introduced me to Jane Austen a couple of years ago.
One of my favourite memories is watching the BBC adaptations together. Austen’s world made us so fascinated by the regal world of England, and we used to fantasize about going there together. Now, I am so close to it – I even took a little trip to London last month – and she isn’t here to share this with me.
I think keeping in touch requires more effort than we give it credit for. And despite the ‘distance makes the heart grow fonder’ adage, it’s also true that distance can affect bonds and relationships. That is not to say friendship is fickle; I will always associate Austen with her. And I like to think of it this way – even though we didn’t get to have our dream-trip together, we travelled extensively through Austen’s world, and that adds to my experiences here every day.
I picked this book up on a whim last week while walking around in a bookshop. It was the only one left that we hadn’t read or seen. I don’t know if she has read it by now, but I will definitely give her a call with an update once I have finished reading it!”