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At the Reunion Buffet (Isabel Dalhousie, #10.5)
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At the Reunion Buffet

(Isabel Dalhousie #10.5)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  1,182 ratings  ·  91 reviews
Isabel Dalhousie - philosopher, mother and friend - is taking on the mammoth task of hosting her school reunion. In the hours before twenty-five former classmates descend on her home, and the caterers arrive to set up a buffet, Isabel has time to reflect. She is mindful of the fact that reunions can bring up all sorts of uncomfortable feelings.

Later that night, with the pa
Kindle Edition, 68 pages
Published March 26th 2015 by Abacus
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3.84  · 
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 ·  1,182 ratings  ·  91 reviews

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May 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a delightful short story about Isabel Dalhousie and a brief interlude in her life. Even though it is so short everyone of importance is there, Isabel herself, the oh so charming Jamie, Charlie and Cat. There is something very special about these peoples' lives that makes the reader want to be involved. Nothing really desperate ever happens yet there is interest and charm in their everyday lives. I am looking forward very much to their next full length book!
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Sunday Philosophy Club is one of my favorite Alexander McCall Smith’s series. When listening to Davina Porter I feel as though I am sitting with Isobel Dalhousie, Ph.D. over tea and listening to her discuss her day. I know some people are put off by Isobel’s musings but I enjoy the intellectual stimulation they trigger.

Isobel is hosting the first event of her class reunion in her home. Smith has some general discussion about class reunions. I found it interesting he discusses the effect of
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ahhh, to be reeled into Dalhousie's rumination and I have forgotten how adorable Jamie can be.
Jun 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
“…class reunions should not be marred by feelings of jealousy or triumph; should not be, yes, but she suspected that they often were. Class reunions were about curiosity; about satisfaction at the avoidance of the mistakes of one’s contemporaries, now revealed in their emerging life histories; about reflecting on the ravages – and injustices – of time; and of realising, perhaps, how strange and random are the twists and turns of fate”

At The Reunion Buffet is an Isabel Dalhousie short story by Al
May 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very gentle short story about Isabel Dalhousie attending her school reunion, with all of the conflicting memories and emotions that such an event brings. I think that the Isabel Dalhousie books are my favorite Alexander McCall Smith series. I'm looking forward to the next full length book, which I believe comes out later this year.
Jul 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
This story was short but sweet. Isabelle is hosting a school reunion dinner and is reflecting on the past and present. She has to acknowledge that there may be people from her past she just does not like. And contemplate how people can change with time (or maybe not) with many thoughts of lingering hatred and forgiveness. I love Isabelle's rambling thought and kind personality.
H.A. Leuschel
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A short but very entertaining philosophical novella - a perfect little interlude between longer reads -
that makes you think and smile! I highly recommend the Isabel Dalhousie series for anyone interested in ethics and moral puzzles set in the gorgeous city of Edinburgh!
Amy Isham
Jul 29, 2016 rated it liked it
I listened to this on audio book while cleaning the kitchen. As all the Isabel Dalhousie novels, its a vehicle for exploring ethical and personal situations in a slow, conscious manner so at times its not terribly plot or character driven. I like Isabel, but as she is a vehicle for exploring the ethics of a social situation, she can sometimes come across as slightly facile and idealistic. This is essential to the playing out of the ethical exploration however, she enters every conversation with ...more
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Again, my only issue is that this is a short story and I don't get to live in Isabel's world as long as I'd like to. In this one, she must deal with her school reunion and all the emotions and issues that event brings on. I've only been to one reunion, college 25th, and it was a strange, strange dreamlike memory as it was happening. I did not find solace in returning to old haunts and seeing faces from auld lang syne acting as they had 25 years earlier. I agree with Isabel who muses, "we do not ...more
Glen U
Jul 24, 2016 rated it liked it
And yet another novelette, actually, this is more of a longish short story, that delves into the life of Isabel Dalhousie. Random philosophical ruminations, introspective musings and moral questions and answers abound. But in spite of all the pedantry and self righteousness that could come out of such a story, McCall Smith , again, manages to make a well flowing, interesting and entertaining tale of our heroine doing what she does best, interfering and solving problems of a intellectual bent. Mc ...more
Patsy Tindell
Feb 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love everything is the Isabel Dalhousie series. In this story Isabel finds herself co-hosting a class reunion. Conflicts arise. One of the ladies isn't welcome because she was thought to be a bully. There is a sort of mystery about her. Is it really her or her sister the actress? If it is the actress, does the bully know she is there? It doesn't seem to matter because Isabel treated the problem with kindness and thoughtfulness. Apologies were made and accepted. The observation that mercy prece ...more
Apr 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
If I was looking for a friend, I would consider myself blessed to meet Isabel Dalhousie. This short story struck a chord; so many of the themes it deals with are highly relevant to my life as well. Isabel's musings on the true nature of human angst, on forgiveness and human interaction are - as always - kind, insightful and beautifully phrased.

Thank you, Mr McCall Smith, for this little gem.
May 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle-books, fiction
A nice little story to keep us going until the next book in the series comes out. The only thing about these short stories in that they are way too short and I would prefer that they were included in the actual books.
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Short but sweet

I don't think AMS can write someting which I do not like. In his gentle ruminative way he forces me to think twice about big issues, and makes me cuckle about his off-hand jokes. Delightful
Sadie-jane (Say-dee-Jane) Nunis
this is the least fave of my amc series but still a decent enough read.
ending.. I am not a fan of those could be this or that endings..
Jun 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Delightful short story

Delightful. Recommended to fans of the Isabel Dalhousie series. As its meant to be a short story it has a quick arc and tidy resolution... Or does it?
Nancie Lafferty
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick and needed booster shot of Isabel Dalhousie.
Aug 16, 2017 rated it liked it
This is an Isabel Dalhousie short story about a class reunion and the fact that we really don't change over the years. It did end with a little bit of a mystery which I am not sure I liked.
Barbara Bradley
Too didactic

He seemed to want to share all kinds of things he believes he has learned about the world and it's people. It unbalanced the story.
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a quick read that links books 10 and 11 of the Isabel Dalhousie series from Alexander McCall Smith. I've never really warmed to Isabel, as I have to characters in his other series. I find her snobby, pretentious, self absorbed and vain, however it these characteristics that make the stories so much fun. She's a proper pain in the bum, but she's fundamentally a good and virtuous person!
This small book tells the story of a school reunion dinner and beautifully explores the stresses and sur
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Another novella in the Isabel Dalhousie series. This one being set during Isabel's reunion. Once again there are moral implications that Isabel must tackle head on, and things that must be overcome. Like the other novella, there just isn't the depth to these as there is in the novel, and I believe it forces McCall to make Isabel jump to conclusions that she would not normally act on. Here she acts on thoughts before a thorough contemplation.
Diane Adams
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have been quite fond of Isabel Dalhousie for quite some time, but so far I prefer the full novels to the shorter ebooks. I have been thinking about going to a reunion of my own...and this story didn't make me more eager to go! There was a bit of a mystery...and I'm not sure how I feel about the way it all ended up...
Sandra Sullivan
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Feeling I know these people.

As with all the author's books you are drawn into the lives of the characters. Occasionally verbose, Isobel really does make you think about the subjects she meanders about.
May 04, 2019 rated it liked it
This book does not follow sequentially from book 10. It is just set at some time during Charles's young childhood, and reveals some interesting interactions during Isabel's reunion (from high school? I can't figure out the UK educational system.)
Mary Tonks
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Class reunions can be horrible events, as some of us may know first hand. Isabel is gracious in offering her house as the site for their first event of a weekend: a buffet dinner party. She finds out that she is correct in believing that people can change, especially after 20 years.
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended for fans or as an introduction

A gentle morality tale - an enjoyable quick read. Isabel Dalhousie hosts a school reunion where a guest is accused of having been a bully - by a woman who is a bit of a bully herself. The story seems to conclude that forgiveness matters more than agreeing on a version of what really happened.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Not the best of his stories.
Oliver Dixon
Very silly and didactic.
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I listened to this as an audiobook. The narrators NZ accent was about the worst I've ever heard hahaha apart from that it was an enjoyable short story.
Apr 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
A too-brief visit with Isabel. I have to confess that I'm not sure I understood the conclusion of this story, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
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Around the Year i...: At the Reunion Buffet, by Alexander McCall Smith 1 12 Aug 10, 2016 07:08AM  

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Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the international phenomenon The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie Series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, and the 44 Scotland Street series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served on many national and international bodies concerned with bioethics. He was born in what ...more

Other books in the series

Isabel Dalhousie (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Sunday Philosophy Club (Isabel Dalhousie, #1)
  • Friends, Lovers, Chocolate (Isabel Dalhousie, #2)
  • The Right Attitude to Rain (Isabel Dalhousie, #3)
  • The Careful Use of Compliments (Isabel Dalhousie, #4)
  • The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday (Isabel Dalhousie, #5)
  • The Lost Art of Gratitude (Isabel Dalhousie, #6)
  • The Charming Quirks of Others (Isabel Dalhousie, #7)
  • The Forgotten Affairs of Youth (Isabel Dalhousie, #8)
  • The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds (Isabel Dalhousie, #9)
  • The Novel Habits of Happiness (Isabel Dalhousie, #10)
“Can you forgive her? Can you do that?
There was no response.
Because if you can start to forgive, then it will become easier.
And then you will be able to forgive yourself—and ask others to forgive you.”
“People don’t talk about mercy very much these days—it has a rather old-fashioned ring to it. but it exists and its power is quite extraordinary” 1 likes
More quotes…