My mother Esme looks old and ailing. I am pained by the stories in her face. 'Shingles' ought to be a playground game, or the name of a children's entertainer.
She hands me the tiny volume as I busy to leave: Shakespeare's Merry Wives soft-leathered in miniature.
We both know why, she says.
The job that saved her, all those years ago.
On the cover, four tiny words: The Play's the Thing.