Monica Douglas came to visit Sandy because there was a crisis in her life. She had married a scientist and in one of her fits of anger had thrown a live coal at his sister. Whereupon the scientist demanded a separation, once and for all.

“I’m not much good at that sort of problem,” said Sandy. But Monica had not thought that she would be able to help much, for she knew Sandy of old, and persons known of old can never be of much help. So they fell to talking of Miss Brodie.

–from The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark