Wednesday, July 7, 2010
The Lost Art of Gratitude by Alexander McCall Smith
36. The Lost Art of Gratitude - sixth in the Isabel Dalhousie series
by Alexander McCall Smith
unabridged audio read by Davina Porter
There is a particular form of disappointment that readers feel. When we've loved a series, we expect we will always love it. And then one day a book comes out and we don't care for it in the old way. We hope against hope that it isn't a downward spiral, though we know it well could be.
Of all Alexander McCall Smith's works, I love the Isabel Dalhousie series the most. I've felt a special connection with her since the beginning. I wrote about this a bit when I did a book report on the book just previous to The Lost Art of Gratitude called The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday.
In this book, I just found myself annoyed with her. I didn't think she used good judgement when she got involved in an unpleasant situation. I understand that people come to her for advice and help but I thought her common sense was lacking in this instance. Maybe I read too many mysteries but it seemed like she took a chance confronting a woman in a remote place. This woman is not a good person, and though I knew that AMS would not let her harm Isabel, I still thought it was a silly thing for Isabel to do.
And, as I noted in the other book report, I can't say too much about the story/characters because there have been important changes which have occurred from book to book. Let's see: I can say she has a boyfriend. But he is almost too perfect, and I am a bit tired of her descriptions of his physical beauty and his kindness.
So, there you have it. Short and not so sweet this time. I rarely finish books I don't care for, but I felt that Isabel deserved my loyalty after giving me such reading joy in the previous books. It isn't a horrible book by any means but it was just ho-hum for me. Does this mean I won't read the latest one, The Charming Quirks of Others? Of course I'll read it. Maybe Isabel was just in a funk. Maybe she just needs to not say yes to every request for help. Maybe her fella will grow a bit as a person. Whatever does or doesn't happen, I'll continue to read about this kindly, well-intentioned woman who thinks deeply about life and how to live it.