The other day I came across this obituary in the NYTimes, the passing of Benedict Freedman.
Who was Benedict Freedman? Along with his wife Nancy, he wrote Mrs. Mike.
I am not sure how many of you out there have read Mrs. Mike, but it served as my official crossover from child-lit to grown-up fiction. The book is based on the life of Katherine O'Fallon, who visited Canada from her native Boston for the sake of her health, only to meet a dreamboat of a mountie, marry him, and the two work tirelessly side by side in hard surroundings.
Ma had recommended this book to a girl in shul, and proceeded to become something close to a deity for that information. With eyes shining, hands clasped in reverence, the reader followed her about, begging for more book titles.
Mr. Freedman himself had a romantic story with his wife Nancy.
Mr. Freedman had met and fallen in love with his wife, then Nancy Mars, in 1939. A young actress, she was suffering a serious relapse of childhood rheumatic fever. When Mr. Freedman asked for her hand, her father, a doctor, tried to dissuade him: his daughter was expected to live only a few months more. He married her anyway, in 1941. They were married until Mrs. Freedman’s death in 2010.
Mrs. Mike is still in print, and I think it is about time I bought one for my bookshelf.