The Forgotten Affairs of Youth (Isabel Dalhousie #8)
In this latest installment of the beloved Isabel Dalhousie series, our inquisitive heroine helps a new friend discover the identity of her father.
Isabel and her fiancé know who they are and where they come from. But not everybody is so fortunate. Jane Cooper, a visiting Australian philosopher on sabbatical in Edinburgh, has more questions than answers. Adopted at birth, Ja
She is condescending to her housekeeper.
She slut shames her niece.
She is a snob about her so-called work which she never seems to do.
She thinks her 2 year old son is a food snob because he likes olives, sardines and gherkins.
She justifies her buttinksky behavior by thinking she has the power to make other people happy.
She ponders how lucky and happy she is and assumes those who were not blessed with a trust fund and good education lead lives of quiet despe ...more
Finished it; loved it; calm except for Cat who was, once again, choosing incorrectly from mushrooms to men.
Isabel can turn t ...more
There was too little interaction between Isabel and Jamie, and though they married at the end of the book and the wedding pages evoked ...more
The first of the Isabelle Dalhousie series was entitled The Sunday Philosophy Club. In it, McCall Smith set up the idea that Isabelle would have kind of an ongoing reading club with others who enjoyed philosop ...more
This review is the second of three reviews of books that seem to me go together. Part A is Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder and Part C is Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott. And they are connected in my mind by their interesting, enlightening and unique explorations of the fundamental questions at the center of life. They each show how their children motivate people to confront previously unexplored concepts of morality a ...more
Isabel confronts common situations with tact and integrity such as dealing with her child learning foul words from another child, maintaining ...more
Casual racism within the first few pages. Repeated once or twice elsewhere in the book.
Tedious and not-interesting philosophizing.
One long yawn re: relationship between Isabel and Jaime.
Unrealistic depiction of a two-year-old, who is remarkably absent from his parents' lives/the book.
Caricatures of lesser, potentially more interesting characters.
There is not much convincing to be done with a review of the 8th book in a series. Alexander McCall Smith is my literary palate cleanser -- and boy did I need one after a doozy of a previous read -- and with a trip to Isabel's hometown of Edinburgh, Scotland in my near future (never woulda thunk that when I started this series so many years ago!) it seemed no better time to pick up this next book in the series.
Alas, not much new to report and that's just the way I think fans of this series like ...more
Once again, this is not a mystery but it is another little human puzzle with several little side stories and nice characters. Grace was not very prominent in this book and her situation offhandedly resolved. Cat is still an issue though, but she ...more
I enjoy these books; though they are gentle reads, they are not always easy reads. And Isabel is, as often before, caught several times in having to live up to her ethical high standards or find ...more
Some books are worth the read because the author uses prose so beautiful that you read it just for the pure pleasure of it. This is not one of these books. It's also not one I'll finish ...more
I still like the characters and the setting, and I still get a little thrill from the calm, reflective joie de vivre in Smith’s books. Isabel has an enviable life, which she knows and deeply appreciates.
Concerning the relationship between Isabel and Jamie: (view spoiler)[They marry at last, in a casual ce ...more
I wouldn't have thought I would love a series more than McCall Smith's Ladies' #1 Detective Agency, but this series is one I do love more. I would never have thought I would be so enamoured of a series with a Scottish woman phoilosopher as the main character. This is smart, gentle, hardheaded, thoughtful, amusing ... everything one could ask and more.
Other Books in the Series
"Yes," she said gravely. "All of us do things we regret--that's part of being human. And sometimes, I think, moral quality reveals itself not so much in what we do, but in what we later say about what we have done....”