It seems frivolous and inappropriate, in the wake of the awful fire at Grenfell tower, to be penning and sharing posts about romance, books, book sales, the small-world observations I like to make here, or even the politically charged commentary.

There’s not much to say, not much that can be said, apart from that this is a heartbreaking tragedy that should never have happened in the twenty-first century in one of the most developed countries in the world. The senseless loss of life highlights the vulnerability of rental tenants, and the dangers of an only very loosely regulated rental market. It seems that the poorest and most vulnerable have suffered. It is a shame and a disgrace for our nation that this has happened.

What has been heartening is to see the local response – the gifts and support of local people. That has, of course, come up to meet needs that were not being met by the local council – the council of one of the richest areas in London.

Time will tell what really happened, and we can only hope that justice will come, but two things are evident to me: the victims of that fire were, and continued to be, failed by those who were supposed to protect them, and the compassion and love of the people of London in this awful, awful time is a comfort that we should remember. People care. We hurt together. There is a community there fighting to take care of one another even as those in power who promised to care for them have let them down.