A Time of Love and Tartan

By Alexander McCall Smith

I absolutely love reading Alexander McCall Smith. His books provide feel-good stories peppered with a perfect amount of logic, historical insights, psychological thinking and human-interest characters to root for. Here is a peek at his latest 44 Scotland Street, Edinburgh series. Let’s meet the residents:

Time of Love & Tartan Book Cover    Bruce Anderson, or as he likes to think of himself as beautiful as Michelangelo’s David, has asked twenty-five-year-old Pat Macgregor, to come to work for him in his art gallery. Bruce is poison to Pat – her infatuation with him is like an addiction. Her psychologist’s doting father, Dr. Macgregor, is aware of Bruce’s effect on his daughter; making her relation with him a bit tricky.

Then there is seven-year-old Bertie and his best friend from school Ranald. Bertie has a younger brother Ulysses who throws up only on his mother. Their parents, Irene and Stuart, are opposites. Irene is obsessed with Bertie attending yoga and psychotherapy; while Stuart struggles to be the man of the family and work as a senior statistician for the government.

Anthropologists Dominica and her husband, portrait painter Angus Lordie are also residents of 44 Scotland Street. Dominica is an occasional lecturer for the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh, and she has been requested to entertain the Forest People from Rwanda.

Matthew and Elspeth have triplets. Matthew owns an art gallery where Pat Macgregor works part-time. Matthew and Elspeth are seeking a new au pair to assist with the daily headaches of three energetic boys.

Finally, we have Big Lou, coffee bar owner and foster parent to Finley by the Social Welfare Department. Lou is beginning to come into herself as an adult after several misguided men friends.

Smith has written another bestseller with a cast of characters whose daily up and down lives make for great reading. Especially, with Smith providing inside psychological views of how these individuals cope and deal with life along 44 Scotland Street. You will laugh and sometimes fret about their decisions, but Smith always brings a bit of sunshine to each escapade. Each one ends with must-read poems by the character Angus Lordie. It is a great read, and I cannot wait for the next one.

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