Ms Page turns a page, at 93

Ninety-plus is an age when people get written off. Ms Lorna Page almost was, till her daughter-in-law stumbled on a sheaf of papers in her suitcase; found the stuff worthy of being published, and persuaded her mother-in-law to look for a publisher. The result: A Dangerous Weakness, a feminist thriller set in the Alps. Ms Page, a 93-year-old widow, wrote it three years back, to keep herself occupied, rather than vegetate.

Publication was not on her mind. Ms Page put her writings in a suitcase and forgot about it. Till her daughter-in-law discovered the work, read it and couldn’t put it down. Following its publication Ms.Page came into the kind of money with which she traded her one-bedroom place in Surrey, UK, for a five-bedroom house. What’s more, she asked three friends from an old people’s home to move in with her – ‘care homes can be miserable; you sit there all day staring out of the window, with no one to talk to’.

Ms Page, through her gesture, highlights the need for individuals to give a thought to those constrained to stay at old people’s home; and, possibly, do things that might make their lives a little less lonely, even if it is to visit them, occasionally, for a chat or invite a couple of them over to spend weekends with you. A press release issued on Ms Page’s behalf said she was at work on her next book – ‘after all, I have to buy a jolly big house for all the friends I have who are alone and need a home’.

Now that Ms Page has turned a page in her life, morphing into a best-seller writer with a mission, there would be a readership for a memoir. And Ms Page has seen eventful days in the past, notably, during the war-time Britain. A mother of two living in a thatched cottage with no electricity or running water during WW II, Ms Page helped organize the local branch of women’s junior air corps; and taught Morse code to cadets.

Her personal life would not have been of interest to anyone, least of all a publisher, before A Dangerous Weakness happened. Today it is best-seller material. Obama’s Dreams From My Father is reported to have sold a million plus copies. Would anyone have cared to read about his personal past when Barak Obama was a mere US senator?

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