"I missed my wife."
I've been reading A Dance to the Music of Time for 10 months or so now. I've been reading it for so long that I don't remember if I started it last November or December. For those of you who don't know: Dance consists of four movements, each made up of three novels that were published over the course of a few decades, each about 250 pages = 4 x 3 x 250= a long damn book. I struggled with it at first, but have come to enjoy it. I have, however, been fairly lax about reading it lately, so I am egregiously behind on my schedule for it. I've picked back up a little in the last week...renewing my nightly date with Nick Jenkins. He and I haven't talked in awhile...we need to find our "connection" again.
In chapter 3 of book #7, Nick is granted a brief military leave to visit his wife Isobel, who was then about to give birth. He returns to his post at the end of that chapter. I was wondering when - if ever - Nick was going to tell me whether or not his wife had the baby...as he is notorious for keeping mum on his own life while telling me all about everybody elses. So, I was shocked - shocked I tell you! - when in the first page or two of chapter 4, he tells us that she did have the baby, a boy, and that mother and son were doing well. And then - almost giving me a heart attack (not really, I being hyperbolous - is that a word?) he says what I quoted above - "I missed my wife." Though Nick expressed some feeling regarding the Jean Templer affair, this was the first time he had expressed any emotion at all about his Isobel. Now, I'm just waiting for Widmerpool to show up, as he always does. Everytime the doorbell rings, I think - could it be? So far it hasn't been, but I know he's lurking around here somewhere...
This book is a behomoth, but I'll be honest - I'll miss Nick Jenkins when he's gone. I've really grown to like the chap. But it's ok...I've still got six months or so with him!