Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Lost Art of Gratitude: An Isabel Dalhousie Novel Paperback – Large Print, September 22, 2009
|New from||Used from|
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
The sensational sixth installment in the best-selling chronicles of the irrepressibly curious Isabel Dalhousie.
Isabelâs son, Charlie, is now of an ageâeighteen monthsâto have a social life, and so off they go to a birthday party, where, much to Isabelâs surprise, she encounters an old adversary, Minty Auchterlonie, now a high-flying financier. Minty had seemed to Isabel a woman of ruthless ambition, but the question of her integrity had never been answered. Now, when Minty takes Isabel into her confidence about a personal matter, Isabel finds herself going another round: Is Minty to be trusted? Or is she the perpetrator of an enormous financial fraud? And what should Isabel make of the rumors of shady financial transactions at Minty's investment bank?
Not that this is the only dilemma facing Isabel: she also crosses swords again with her nemesis, Professor Dove, in an argument over plagiarism. Of course her niece, Cat, has a new, problematic man (a tightrope walker!) in her life. And there remains the open question of marriage to Jamieâdoting father of Charlie.
As always, there is no end to the delight in accompanying Isabel as she makes her way toward the heart of every problem: philosophizing, sleuthing, and downright snooping in her inimitableâand inimitably charmingâfashion.
From the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
So without the frisson and stress, how does "The Lost Art of Gratitude" (and others in the series) grab the reader's attention and hold it? It may well be that the very stresslessness of living is what makes her story so interesting and enjoyable to the reader. You know that nothing terrible will ever really happen to Isabel and to the ones she loves. Who doesn't fantasize about a world where we are surrounded by beauty and intelligence that will never end? Where babies don't ever have to have their diapers changed nor do they ever get colic or throw tantrums. Where your SO, in addition to being beautiful/handsome and talented, respects you and intuitively connects with your every thought and impulse. And is always yin to your yang.
McCall Smith does provide a few gray clouds for his heroine in "The Lost Art..." in the form of a couple of Isabel's old adversaries--Minty Aucterlonie and Christopher Dove, but they have both been vanquished by Isabel in the past, and there is no doubt that she will prevail against them again.
Ultimately, the greatest pleasure from the book for this reader, was the time and space that Isabel Dalhousie is given to ruminate about the human condition and the interactions of people in ordinary day-to-day situations. This isn't peace in the Middle East or the answer to world poverty, but it is important reflection on how we behave toward each other as residents of shared communities. Hypocrisy and greed are two of the main identified enemies for Isabel, but all human folly is grist for her consideration. Respect and charity are always her goals.
McCall Smith's paragon does have interesting flaws--she is overly considerate and reasonable and therefore unable, at times, to correctly read the baser actions of others. These misunderstandings and her occasional outright cluelessness give the story needed zing and interest.
"The Lost Art of Gratitude" is another gentle and sweet installment in a series that you have to hope will hold McCall Smith's interest and enterprise for many years to come.
So, I read a sample and I was enchanted from the very beginning. For one thing, it's like a free trip to Edinburgh. I have been there only once, briefly, and I loved finding myself there again. So to speak.
I also enjoyed the writing, witty and fluid, and I felt I was really "inside" Isabel's mind by following her philosophical meanderings (mind you, we're not talking about references to Kant or Nietzsche here : it's more like following the ideas of a person more open and intent on doing the right thing than your average person). It gave an intimacy to Isabel's character tantamount to using the first person.
As for the "mysteries": there is an underlying story or two about a certain manipulative lady... One also gets acquainted with Isabel's baby and partner, and rather wild niece.
The beauty of it is that the story stays intriguing enough to hold the reader's interest (I'll admit I am easily bored) even though on the surface, only rather minor things happen. I am delighted I gave the book a chance - I will check out the others of the series!
But the book, whose happenings pass over just a few days, is spelled out in terms of Isabel's thought process. While I found it similar to my own and therefore liked it, most novels are rendered in terms of dialogue. This one has dialogue, of course, but the reader is also privy to all of Isabel's thoughts between her utterances and those of her associates. It took some getting used to that, perhaps the first 100 pages or so. But the thread hangs together, and so in the end did not bog down as I was afraid it might. I would call it a unique writing style, and in the end it held personal resonance for me. (Beware, however, if you are afraid of "thought broadcasting.")