Chapter 33

Miss Marple of course had bad days. One evening after being at Dolly Bantry’s and falling for a few drinks, she said to Mrs McGillicuddy, “You know, this has made me realise how little we really talk to each other in the village. It’s all so trivial”. A tear trickled down her cheek. “This is true of so many places, Jane”, said Mrs McGillicuddy, “and I see it is often true even within marriages”.

“I suppose the drink was a kind of anaesthetic”, said Miss Marple. “It helped us not to mind feeling lonely”.

“It seems to me though”, said Mrs McGillicuddy, “that there has been more truth in our friendship as we have discussed recovery, than there has been for years. And look at your conversations with Marjorie and Mr Rafael – you are creating friendships that have the strength to look life with all its difficulties, in the face. Even with Raymond, Diane and Lionel, there is now a chance for you to know them more fully and for them to know you?”

Mrs McGillicuddy had been watching out for times when this kind of conversation could happen – the book spoke of an ’emotional thawing’ as people move into the culture of recovery, and so despite the relapse that afternoon, she felt encouraged that Miss Marple was progressing. The book spoke of the moments when the addict “stands naked in the light of self-perception and simply gives up” – and sees these moments as a key part of recovery.

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