Nina's Reading Blog

Comments on books I am reading/listening to

The Lost Art of Gratitude

Posted by nliakos on September 9, 2012

by Alexander McCall Smith (Pantheon, 2009)

In this sixth episode in the Isabel Dalhousie series (Wasn’t that originally called The Sunday Philosophy Club Series, after the title of the first one? Or did I just imagine that?), Isabel is manipulated by the very disagreeable Minty Auchterlonie, who implores her for favors and then turns around and abuses Isabel’s good nature. Isabel never manages to get and hold onto the upper hand in this unpleasant relationship, due to the fact that she is basically a moral person, whereas Minty is amoral. The book deals with Isabel’s reactions to Minty’s treacheries. She is constantly making wrong judgments about people who turn out to be quite different from what she suspects, so by the end of the book, I had somewhat lost my faith in Isabel’s abilities. But anyone can be mistaken, especially if they are predisposed to thinking that others are more likely to be good people than bad.

I was pleased to note that Isabel’s love affair with the younger Jamie is coming along beautifully, and their little son Charlie continues to be the most well-behaved 18-month-old on the planet.

I will note here that I am three novels behind in this series: The Charming Quirks of Others (2009), The Forgotten Affairs of Youth (2011), and The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds (2012). Get to it, Nina!

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