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I was in need of extreme comfort reading last night, so I turned back to one of my favourite childhood books: A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. My copy is dog-eared and the pages yellowed, but it still has my name written in my mother’s handwriting on the front page. The front cover, sadly, has fallen off.

I didn’t want to stop reading it last night. I do love it so. I love the character of Sara, her combination of seriousness and whimsy, her kindness and her generosity to those who are overlooked by the self-important people; I love the descriptions of her little garrett room when it’s transformed into a beautiful room by the lascar; I love Hodgson Burnett’s scorn and her scathing character assessment of the more unpleasant members of society, like Miss Minchin and Lavinia. I guess when I was a child I identified with Sara being a third culture kid, growing up in an ‘exotic’ country and being sent back to Anglo society and being expected to conform and fit into it, but finding it all a bit strange. When I get home I’ll try and find some favourite bits to post.

What are your favourite comfort reads and why?