The Forever Girl and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $24.95
  • Save: $6.35 (25%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
The Forever Girl has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Eligible for Amazon's FREE Super Saver/Prime Shipping, 24/7 Customer Service, and package tracking. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Ex-Library. Former library book. Dust jacket in Has dustjacket condition.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Forever Girl Hardcover – February 11, 2014


See all 12 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$18.60
$1.13 $0.01

Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Check out the newest book by Naomi Novik. Learn more | See all by author
$18.60 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

The Forever Girl + What W. H. Auden Can Do for You (Writers on Writers) + Sunshine on Scotland Street: A 44 Scotland Street Novel (8)
Price for all three: $46.39

Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Until roughly 15 years ago, with the breakaway success of his No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, McCall Smith was a professor of medical law and ethics at the University of Edinburgh. His training in and fascination with ethics, especially concerning lying and deception, are much in evidence here. This stand-alone novel could almost be used as an extended case study on the staggering effects any lie or deception may have, no matter how seemingly justifiable. On the surface, the novel is a contemporary love story, actually two, or maybe one and a half, since unrequited love is a big question mark throughout. The two points of view are those of a tennis mom and her teen daughter, who live in the tax haven of Grand Cayman Island. Both mother and daughter confront the kind of passion that McCall Smith presents as just happening, like the weather. But then what happens? The fascinating core of the book tackles this question, with McCall Smith tracing choices, zeroing in especially on the mother’s choices and their unintended consequences. The fallout is heightened by being entirely believable. The novel moves from Grand Cayman to Scotland and then to Australia and Singapore without losing focus. What may seem like an ordinary love tangle is a very rich stew of contemporary mores and a great stage for both comedy and heartbreak. --Connie Fletcher

Review

“What may seem like an ordinary love tangle is a very rich stew of contemporary mores and a great stage for both comedy and heartbreak.” —Booklist (starred review)

“Touchingly conceived. . . . In the end we see that love unfulfilled still makes a difference.” —Library Journal

Praise for Alexander McCall Smith:

“McCall Smith’s generous writing and dry humor, his gentleness and humanity, and his ability to evoke a place and a set of characters without caricature or condescension have endeared his books to readers.” —The New York Times
 
“McCall Smith’s novels are beautifully precise and psychologically acute.” —The Independent (London)
 
“A vivid observer and an elegant writer.” —The Plain Dealer
 
“A virtuoso storyteller.” —The Scotsman
 
“A writer who charms many readers . . . McCall Smith’s characters are well-drawn and alive.”  —Providence Journal
 
“McCall Smith’s accomplished novels [are] dependent on small gestures redolent with meaning and main characters blessed with pleasing personalities . . . These novels are gentle probes into the mysteries of human nature.” —Newsday

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Burning Down George Orwell's House
Burning Down George Orwell's House
Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner Award finalist Robert Stone describes Burning Down George Orwell's House as a "… most enjoyable, a witty, original turn … one part black comedy and one part a meditation on modern life. It is well-written and truly original." Learn more about the author, Andrew Ervin

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon; First American Edition edition (February 11, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307908259
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307908254
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (223 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #561,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alexander McCall Smith was born in what is now Zimbabwe and taught law at the University of Botswana. He is now Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh. He has written more than fifty books, including a number of specialist titles, but is best known for The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, which has achieved bestseller status on four continents. In 2004 he was awarded British Book Awards Author of the Year and Booksellers Association Author of the Year. He lives in Scotland, where in his spare time he is a bassoonist in the RTO (Really Terrible Orchestra).

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Ventura Merkel on February 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover
As a big fan of Alexander McCall Smith, I really loved the majority of this book. However, without giving it away, the ending was unexpected but not in a good way. It just felt incomplete and abrupt, like he got tired of the dynamic tension throughout the book. As another review said, the behavior of James, the lifelong childhood friend and target of Clover's unrequited love, at the end is inconsistent with his previous behaviors. I was hoping to love the book and was hoping for a nice surprise at the end, but it fell flat. There are so many other more interesting ways the author could have ended.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Ginger on February 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Disappointing as Smith`s novels go...the behavior of James throughout the story is not warranted in the ending...I was expecting his hesitancy to be explained by his mother telling him that Clover`s mother had an affair with his father...loved all of Smith`s previous works but this one is flat.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Helen Adams on February 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thought Clover's obsession with James was simply annoying. There was nothing in Jame's character that warranted such devotion and as a result the ending felt very flat to me. I did enjoy the discriptions of Cayman and Scotland and the juxtaposition of the two areas. Normally I am a fan of Mccall Smith but this book disappointed me.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Terri J. Rice TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Alexander McCall Smith has been hit and miss with me. I loved The No. 1 Ladies' Detective series, but I thought the Professor Dr von Igelfeld books were just okay. I like Isabel Dalhousie series but found 44 Scotland Street insufferable.

The Forever Girl started out well and was intriguing. The Grand Cayman setting made the story exotic. McCall Smith has a way of getting to the truth of his characters.

But dang it, round about page 200 of 316 it just d-r-a-g-g-e-d. I didn't care about Clover, I didn't care about James, I didn't care about Amanda and her fling, no one. It grew trite, silly and insipid.

I really wanted to like another Alexander McCall Smith book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By robertafh on March 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Alexander McCall Smith is one of my favorite authors but this book was disappointing. As always his own beautiful character and philosophy of life together with his elegant words are a delight but I found the story of Clover and James to be totally unrealistic. All of the characters, with the exception of Amanda, and possibly Ted, seem to be contrived. It is difficult, even for the most romantic reader to accept their behavior except as a complete fantasy. Perhaps I am alone in this opinion.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Anita Lienert on March 25, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a great fan of Alexander McCall Smith, but I was disappointed with The Forever Girl. It suffers from too much repetition, with the same points being made over and over again. The ending was syrupy sweet and not at all realistic. I had the terrible feeling that the author went on a trip to the Caribbean and had to justify the expense by writing a short novel about the place. Talk about phoning it in.
You would be better served by rereading some Jane Austen.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jina on May 8, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
A young girl falls in love with her neighbor when they are both 12 years old. He never treats her as anything but a friend in return.They go to boarding schools in different countries at age 14, then attend college in different counties as well. Over the years between ages 14-22, she sees him only 4 or 5 times. They rarely correspond, and he never treats her in any way other than as a brother treats a sister. He even tells her that she is like the sister he never had. Despite this, she spends a huge amount of her time obsessing about how much she loves this guy. If someone has had only 4 or 5 short public contacts with someone over 8 years of time, they can't possibly know the person anymore, especially enough to love the person more than anyone in the world. She makes makes no effort to get close to anyone else, or follow any personal dreams. She just obsesses about how much she loves this guy, and how much she wishes he loved her. When the ending come, what happens is totally implausible. Then, after the implausible thing occurs, the book ends with all the details left up in the air. This is one of the most irritating books ever.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Susan on April 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a diehard, Alexander McCall Smith fan. Why? Because I love his skillful, philosophical meanderings about the human heart and all its conditions. Plus, I like his character developments and the settings of his novels. However, this tale was disappointing and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone not familiar with this Scotsman's writing.

The story details, endlessly and a bit too laboriously, the mental machinations of an American-Scottish girl, as she grows up on Grand Cayman, adored, privileged and prone to a myopic, expat's view of life. She's cute, alert and madly in love, from the age of six, with a neighbor boy who she doggedly pursues, in their teen and early adult years and on three continents, in fact. A rather loose plot centers on the girl's endless and over-wrought angst about her unrequited love. Mixed up in the story line is her mother's own struggle with life and love, as she moves through the mundane routine of an expat wife's life, trapped in a loveless marriage and in the rather inbred confines of island, expatriot life. Both mother and daughter play off one another nicely, bearing witness to the fact that love is not easy but is the main reason most people spend decades, seriously maintaining a family and intimate relationships. McCall Smith offers much philosophical insight, which is his signature theme-building intent, in all of his tales.

However is this later novel of Mr. Smiths', the plot was very thin, compared to a dense, pedantic narrative about the heart and mind of a maturing girl, poised on the cusp of adulthood. In fact, the detailed descriptions of the girl's pursuit of her childhood sweetheart becomes almost boring, as not much else seems to happen in the way of interesting plot.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Forever Girl
This item: The Forever Girl
Price: $18.60
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com