Friday, June 12, 2009

The Good Husband of Zebra Drive

This is the eighth volume in the No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith. As I said in my posting on The World According to Bertie McCall Smith is the spag bol of reading for me. I find it impossible not to be comfortable when reading his three main series. There are, of course, continuing gripes. I'm not sure whether it is a charm or a major irritation (or both) that there is so much repetition: of things past, of Mme Ramotswe's love of her father, red bush tea, Mr J L B Matekoni etc etc. The list of repetitions is endless and if they were not there then the series could, I'm sure, be reduced by two volumes. But would I have it so? No.

The plot (if such one could call it) in this volume, as in the others, is largely irrelevant. These books are not read for the plot but for the simple pleasure of reading a simple story well written.

Heaven forbid that McCall Smith should ever fall into the trap that Lillian Beckwith did with the sequels to The Hills is Lonely and end up with larger and larger print and smaller and smaller books. Come to think of it I think he's probably started where L B left off anyway. But do I care? No.


The previously unloved may find it hard to believe that they are now loved; that is such a miracle, they feel; such a miracle.

'There are many men for whom there does not appear to be any reason,' ....... '....even when he is standing there, doing nothing, I don't think that.'

She wanted something, she felt, but she was unsure what it was. Love? Friendship? There was a loneliness about her, as there was about some people who just did not seem to belong, who fitted in - to an extent - but who never seemed quite at home.

....but nothing ever approached the level of incompetence that these young men so effortlessly achieved.

So the small things come into their own: small acts of helping others, if one could; small ways of making one's own life better: acts of love, acts of tea, acts of laughter. clever people might laugh at such simplicity, but, she asked herself, what was their own solution?

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