'How pleasant it is to spend an evening in this way! I declare that after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.' No one made any reply. She then yawned again, threw aside her book, and cast her eyes round the room in quest of some amusement. — from Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (1775-1817)
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December 28, 2011

The Forgotten Affairs of Youth





      She had walked only a few paces down the street when she turned around and made her way back, decisively, to the doorway she had just left. She rang the bell, firmly, and waited.
      'Oh,' said Catherine Succoth, as she answered the door. 'Have you left something behind?'
      'I did not tell you the whole truth,' said Isabel. 'I am very sorry about that and I apologize.'
To tell the whole truth, I would have to say that The Forgotten Affairs of Youth isn't an extraordinary book.  But if you've read and enjoyed the first seven Isabel Dalhousie novels by Alexander McCall Smith, reading this one is like having a cup of coffee with a friend you haven't seen in a while; even if you end up talking about the same things you always talk about, it's still nice to spend time together.

In this book, Isabel helps a visiting philosopher from Australia, on sabbatical in Edinburgh, find her birth parents. {I might also have to say that the way things are resolved here seems a little thrown together.} But along the way, Jamie is enraged by Professor Lettuce, there's another argument with Cat, and a moonlight walk in Edinburgh, and a lot of domesticity. Even the major events that happen to Isabel and her family {a brush with death, technically speaking, and something else, that we knew was coming} seem quiet and subdued. But this is the first book I've found time to finish in weeks, so a few cups of tea and a few hours of Isabel were all that I really needed. :)

2 comments:

Lisa May said...

That's one thing I love about series, coming back to them can feel like catching up with old friends.

fleurfisher said...

Haven't read one of these books for quite a while, but the names Catherine and Isabella caught my eye. Thank you for reminding me!

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