- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Abacus (15 Oct. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0349120552
- ISBN-13: 978-0349120553
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.6 x 19.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 162,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Comfort Of Saturdays (Isabel Dalhousie Novels) Paperback – 15 Oct 2009
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PRAISE FOR THE CAREFUL USE OF COMPLIMENTS ** 'The No. 2 Lady Detective ... anyone who loves Precious cannot fail to be charmed' MAIL ON SUNDAY ** 'McCall Smith has the gift of evoking an entire social atmosphere in very few and simple words' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH ** 'McCall Smith's greatest gift as a writer - and God knows this is just one of many - is that he can write likeable characters' NEW STATESMAN --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
* An intriguing new mystery for Edinburgh-based philosopher Isabel DalhousieSee all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
The story picks up a year after "The Careful Use of Compliments". Isabel and Jamie's son Charlie is now 15 months old. One thing that felt wrong to me as a mother was Isabel's relationship with Charlie, which seemed very functional. She spends so many hours fretting about Jamie - does Jamie love her? is he happy? is she at risk of losing him? how can someone so beautiful want to be with her? - while she seems far less interested in her own son.
The book opens well. Isabel is asked to investigate the circumstances behind a doctor's disgrace over a medical scandal. At the same time, Jamie has developed a friendship with a mysterious composer by the name of Nick Smart. However it felt like McCall Smith lost interest in both of these storylines, which get pushed to the back and never get fully resolved. Instead we spend a lot of time with Isabel and her insecurities. For the first time we see sides of Isabel which are not very appealing: for example she harbours a grudge over a loan that she has made and is quick to pass judgement on Eddie's girlfriend based on the way she looks.
Despite all of this, McCall Smith is still a lovely writer. I always feel a little lighter in spirit after reading his books. The Edinburgh settings are captivating and Isabel has an original and refreshing take on life.
Alexander McCall Smith continues his thoughtful investigation of the social contract and doing the right thing to others in a moral sense. Isabel Dalhousie, being portrayed as a mere human who knows ethics, struggles on behalf of us all with jealousy, regret, sloth, and concern for the hurting. How should we react?
In this story, Isabel finds that her worries about losing Jamie seem to be growing. She continues to keep barriers between them while wanting to take the barriers down. Social engagements with people her age are particularly uncomfortable. She feels particularly threatened by Jamie's new friendship with a young composer, Nick Smart.
Isabel is shocked to find that her old foe, Christopher Dove, is trying to manipulate her into publishing an article in the Journal of Applied Ethics. She grits her teeth at the effort required to treat Dove fairly.
After a dinner party, Isabel is approached by the wife of a disgraced medical researcher to see if Isabel will try to find some way to rehabilitate the researcher's reputation. Isabel is no Miss Marple, and her efforts lead her in an unexpected direction.
Between the major plot lines, Isabel takes great pleasure in her son, Charlie, her peaceful life, helping Cat out while she visits Sri Lanka, and looking to help those in need without hurting anyone's feelings. That last challenge is more difficult than she imagines.
As always, the story exudes joie de vivre, affection for Edinburgh, pleasure in the company of others, and happiness in trying to do the right thing. It's a nice recipe for brightening up your day . . . so that even a rainy Saturday can look like heaven on Earth.
Enjoy your life!
Part of the problem is that AMcS obviously admires women and often chooses them as his central characters. However, he does not (in my opinion) describe their inner lives in a way that a woman can relate to. Isabel obsesses about Jamie and seems only mildly interested in her baby,despite being genuinely committed to caring for him. This is a weakness of the wonderful Precious Ramotswe books, too. The children do not seem to cause their mothers much inconvenience and do not emerge as real characters. They are just there and occasionally do things before considerately fading into the background. Real women obsess about their children, or at least, they do if they are not inadequate or monstrous. They discuss every detail of the development, immense talents and overwhelming demands. Real children are highly inconvenient and demand all that their mothers have to give - and then some.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent, I love reading about Isabel Dalhousie, Jamie, Grace and baby Charlie, more pleasePublished 5 months ago by Liz Stirling
A lovely book in the series about Isabel Dalhousie and her new role as a mother .it charts the development of her relationship i with her younger partner and of her childPublished 12 months ago by Pippy
These gently written novels need no recommendation from me. If you enjoy a pootle through other people's lives you will love the Isabel Dalhousie booksPublished 16 months ago by Branwen Patagonia
The rhythm of these books is addictive. No graphic sex or violence. Philosophical musing, rambling but interesting plots, capture of the atmosphere of Edinburgh. Read morePublished on 1 Jun. 2015 by gabriel mendoza
As always with all Alexander Mcall Smiths novels, an excellent read. I am particularly fond of the Isabel Dalhousie series but would be an enjoyable read for anyone who didn't know... Read morePublished on 26 April 2015 by Babs