I am about eleven years old, sitting cross-legged on the floor, in what we called the sewing room.
Next to the sewing machine is a brick-and-board bookcase filled with paperbacks.
(There was a bookcase in nearly every room, regardless of what the room was called. Now, even my kitchen contains bookcases.)
This is where the Marian Engel and Margaret Atwood lived.
This is where the John Jakes and James Michener lived.
But for the purposes of this slip into bookish nostalgia, it is where the Jalna series lived.
I delight in pulling all the books in series off the shelves and stacking them on the floor in a mish-mash, then reshelving them in series order.
Even today, I could probably still reassemble the Kent Family Chronicles perfectly, so that if you wished to begin at the beginning, you could begin to by reading the book at the left and read your way through to the right.
(You would have to begin with the daring title, The Bastard, a title I never uttered as a girl, which I can barely whisper now, so shocking was it to me with every de-shelving and re-shelving that anyone could title a book such a thing. In my experience, this word had nothing to do with ancestry and inheritance and everything to do with behaving scandalously.)
Countless times, even back then, I would ambitiously begin reading the first Jalna volume; countless times, I stalled only two or three pages into the book.