Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Lost Art of Gratitude, by Alexander McCall Smith

In this episode of the Isabel Dalhousie series, Isabel is living with Jamie, the father of their young son, to which they are both dedicated. Isabel continues to feel some embarrassment that she is older than Jamie and that he dated her niece Cat before becoming interested in her. Makes for some awkward moments, especially considering that Cat doesn't take such things well.

A philosopher by trade (editor and owner of the Journal of Applied Ethics) and by nature, Isabel exhibits the "generosity of spirit" that characterizes Smith's books. When she accidentally meets Minty Auchterlonie, an investment banker she met before in unfortunate circumstances, and when Minty asks her to help her with a favor, Isabel is at once at a loss because of her negative feelings about Minty (which she thinks uncharitable) and because she feels an obligation to help others when the opportunity arises. Her quandary, she discovers, is that she doesn't know what to make of Mindy, truly, and she wants to give her the benefit of the doubt.

Meanwhile, Cat takes up with a tightrope walker and Jamie and Isabel test their love for each other.

Not a mystery but rather an exploration of ethics (as are all of Smith's books, really), this makes for a satisfying book that has all of the sly, harmless humor we associate with Smith.

A note: Normally I do not review this type book in this journal but instead leave the reviews at However, this book was on loan to me and was not a bookcrossing book so I needed some place to express my thoughts and tamp down my memory.

No comments: