The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik
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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. :)


Lisa May said...

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

Anonymous 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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