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Friday, May 4, 2012

Alexander McCall Smith's 44 SCOTLAND STREET

This writer never disappoints - the book was a delight as always.  Set in a busy corner of the New Town Pat moves as a flatmate of three others but her fatal attraction for Bruce is something that she never counted on.

Looking on the various characters which form this story we have Pat our main character - 20ish, innocent, naive, on her second gap year and trying to come to terms with her life away from home. Still homesick for her parents particularly her father, she sees in Bruce the love that she has been looking for but fortunately in the nick of time realizes that his narcissistic approach to everything and particularly his love of himself makes him not the man for her. She can view him clinically at the end despite the physical attraction she feels for him. (I breathed a sigh of relief here having 20ish daughters of my own!!!!).

We have Irene the all knowing mother who thinks her seven year old Bertie is the prodigy of all prodigies. Playing the saxophone and speaking Italian he seems to be so, but underneath it all we have a rebellious youngster who dislikes intensely what his mother is forcing him to do.

We then have Big Lou playing mother hen to a host of motley crew - from Mathew, Ron and Pete. We then have to top it all the Todds - ambitious social climbers Sasha and Raeburn with their gloomy daughter whom they hope to hitch to the dashing Bruce. There is also Matthew who whilst financially stable because of the backing of his Pa, feels that nothing he does is ever going to come right and the story seems to support that theory with his gallery and the twisting tale of the missing painting!

I understand that this book was divided into instalments and published as a weekly tidbit. This is an endless story and could go on and on. Something similar to our local teledramas which could stretch for years because the ramifications of the basic story are so "everyday" and normal that one can identify so very easily with the characters as those we come across in our daily life.

I was away from home for three days and now its a very long weekend. Today is Vesak Full Moon Poya Day. It celebrates the birth, death, and enlightenment of Lord Buddha. All Buddhist homes will be decorated today with flags and bunting and particularly with lantersn - mainly home made out of bamboo and tissue paper in a myriad of colors. At night it is a beautiful sight - all our lanes in the vicinity no bright lights only the soft colors of lanters!

At the same time the emphasis on religion is very marked for this festival. Programmes conducted in temples throughout the day offer sermons and preaching to the laity. Meals are offered to all and one special feature of Vesak are the dansalas or free food offered on the streets. There are full rice and curry meals offered today and tomorrow at every little town and village for the general public, coffee, tea, and herbal drink dansalas, then you get the sweets or savoury dansalas. General fun all around.


  1. Happy Wesak Day! it's a public holiday in Malaysia and I have celebrated it every year with my family. I follow the series of Alex mcCall Smith's No. 1 lady detective agency. As much as I like the series, I wish he slow down a little, I can't keep up with him publishing one book every year!

  2. Interesting review Mystica and looking forward to find more about
    'Vesak Full Moon Poya Day'.
    I was glad to see you added the photos (nifty for us across the world) and hoping you will share more about what happens in your neighbourhood in the future!
    All the best and enjoy a quite weekend (after 3 days on the road, you earned it!)

  3. The book sounds like a fun read - I'm going to have to pick up this author soon.

    I love that there is a festival atmosphere to Vesak Full Moon Poya Day but that the religious aspect has not gotten lost. Thanks for teaching me, once again, such an interesting part of your life.

  4. I've listened to the first Ladies Detective Agency on audio and really enjoyed it - I should revisit this author.

  5. I like the sound of this Mystica. I have to admit I have not been a big fan of the Ladies Detective series though I really liked the tv series based on it. Perhaps this would suit me more

    Enjoy your reading week!

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd out