Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Forgotten Affairs of Youth (Novel)

Human life is a long film, which can be fully understood only if one looks at what went before. 
The Forgotten Affairs of Youth, released at the end of last year, is the eighth book in Alexander McCall Smith’s Isabel Dalhousie Series. All the regular characters are back: Isabel, Jamie, Charlie, Grace, Cat, Eddie, Mr. Fox, and Professor Lettuce. I love this series where nothing much happens and yet everything happens. These novels are gentle and philosophical, reminding us of what it means to be a human being.

Briefly, in the major storyline, a fellow philosopher, from Australia, asks Isabel’s help in finding out about her birth parents. The book has numerous minor storylines. Grace receives an investment tip from a medium. When Eddie goes on a trip, a jean model takes his place at Cat’s store. Lettuce, with the help of his nephew, finally does something so outrageous that Jamie becomes angry. Isabel eats some poisonous produce. Charlie learns some interesting vocabulary. Isabel and Jamie’s relationship continues to evolve. Of course, Isabel is faces with large and small moral dilemmas.

 The Forgotten Affairs of Youth lived up to my highest expectations. I still am amazed how McCall Smith can draw me into a scene with just a few words. This novel and most of the others in the series are perfect for those times that a person needs to regroup and feel good about the world again.

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