The World According to Bertie (44 Scotland Street #4)
All the old "friends" were back, with some shuffling around but Bertie was definitely more front-and-center this time struggling with his own set of imponderables (overbearing mother Isabel, new baby brother Ulysses of the strong resemblance to B's psychotherapist, Olive and her needles, etc). Some of it was really funny, other par...more
And young Bertie's perspective gives sweet insights into the world of children. "You see, Mummy, there are two different worlds. There's the grown-up world, and then there's the world down below, where boys and girls live. I don't think grown-ups really know what's happening down in...more
There are thoughtful moments also. I am including this excerpt because I wonder about McCall Smith's view of God. His characters seem to have faith in love, family, friendship, kindness, Scotland...anything but God.
This is a prayer of Angus Lordie whose dog is being detained because he was accused of biting and Angus misses him greatly (p....more
As the title of the book suggests, this volume is dedicated to Bertie, a six-year old project (Mother's viewpoint.) Bertie wants to be a boy. That's all. Mother sees the world differently. She has him playing the Saxophone, speaking Italian, and doing Yoga. Of...more
Here we are welcomed back into the homes, workplaces, and local Edinburgh haunts of Pat, Matthew, Big Lou, Dominica, Angus...more
Since these books were written to be ser...more
I loved this. It might be one of my favorites in the 44 Scotland Street series so far. Probably because it focuses more on some of my favorite characters. Wee Bertie, the little boy beleaguered with an awful mother, now has a younger brother, Ulysses. When Ulysses is temporarily misplaced and a girl rather than the real brother mistakenly returned to them, Bertie suggests they keep the girl. Not because he, as his psychiatrist says, is jealous of having to share his Mother's affections with Uly...more
The title is promising because it includes the little boy who is so engaging. Six year old Bertie desperately wants to be average while his mother insists on his achievement. Also having problems are the dashing Bruce who has recently moved back to town,...more
In The World According to Bertie, change is afoot in the lives of several main characters: Bruce has met his match in his new girlfriend, Matthew's taking steps to ensure that he won't face thirty alone, Bertie gets a new baby brother and new teacher, and Angus Lordie may not have to sacrifice as much as he once thought to keep his dog.
I don't think I've ever read a novel set in modern day Scotland (Edinburgh), and being a bit of an anglophile, that made the whole story more appealing to me. I also liked that the characters were generally good people living ordinar...more
I felt for Angus Lordie as he "grieved" because Cyril, his faithful dog and friend, was wrongfully placed in the pound. I cheered for Matthew and Big Lou as they found love, though not with each other. And laughed at Bertie as he continued to navigate his mother and his terrible classmates.
In the 44 Scotland Street series,...more
Bruce did detract from some of my enjoyment here, since he's so aggravating and really not much fun listening about his narcissism and misogyny. Still, curious to see how his relationship...more
What's there to say about this book that hasn't been said about the previous three? This one is also a good read that is hard to put down. A difference in this series of chapters is the settlement of many of the issues already developed.
Oh, I won't spoil them, but I will say that I'm quite glad that the last voice from Bertie's house is Bertie's own. It is disturbing to me that Irene is as she is. It is even more disturbing that there are people like her out there in the world. How sad.
I was lef...more
This is a c...more
As always, Bertie's, Matthew's, and Pat's stories held my interest the most, though in this installment I looked forward to Bruce's part of the story as well. I'm happy to see Miss Harmony getting more time and to see her story intertwine with more c...more