Reading in the rain

Nancy Drew on a stormy night and a mother-daughter relationship cemented in books.

By Maddy Simpson | Royal Report

Our house shakes in the midst of the storm. The lights flicker a few times and then go out, a power line trapped under a fallen tree. Gray, late afternoon light complemented by the dim glow of candles fills the room where we sit, interrupted periodically by the sharp flashes of lightning. The Pennsylvania thunderstorm rages.

My mom watches the storm flood the wetland behind our backyard. I watch her.

I don’t remember a time when my mom wasn’t reading. Tucked in the seat back pockets of her car, on her desk, under her bed, books hide everywhere in our house. Her passion overflowed into me.

The rain pelts our windows, and she picks up a Nancy Drew novel and reads aloud, the mystery fitting the mood perfectly. Her voice mixes with the thunderclaps and the story comes to life.

My mom reads a chapter of the book, and then moves on to wipe down the counters in our kitchen, another mom duty. But the memory of her voice still fills our dim kitchen.