Tuesday, 7 December 2010

The Unbearable Lightness of Scones by Alexander McCall Smith


DATE READ: December 2010 (audio)

NOTES: A gentle, funny satire on modern Edinburgh life. There are lots of characters whose lives cross in different ways. Matthew struggles to come to terms with marriage, young Bertie with his psychotherapy sessions, Domenica with increasing loneliness, Angus worries about what to do with six puppies delivered to his door and Big Lou is forever offering food and comfort. And Ian Rankin even makes and appearance!

There is no one plotlines – the story meanders along with a series of misunderstandings and errors of judgement.

The Steiner School children are particularly funny – and bearing some really whacky names: Tofu, Hiawatha, Merlin, Pansy, Laksmi! All very comical but a bit too precocious for six year olds (but perhaps I am misjudging Rudolf Steiner!). Bertie is an unwilling participant in psychotherapy. But he proves to be clever and manipulative and we cheer him on.

What comes over is McCall’s deep affection for Scotland and in particular Edinburgh.

As indicated in the title this book is light and fluffy. It is a feelgood read – and none the worse for that.

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