Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The revolving door of life

Alexander McCall Smith continues the stories in the 44 Scotland Street series in The Revolving Door of Life.  The stories are the continuation of the events, large and small, about the lives of characters who live, or who have lived, in this part of Scotland Street.

Although Matthew and Elspeth, with their triplets, have left Scotland Street to move into their new home outside Edinburgh, Matthew still works at his art gallery in the city. The house was purchased from a gentlemen calling himself the Duke of Johannesburg, a character who makes appearances throughout this collection of stories. Angus Lordie and Domenica Macdonald, now married, have settled into Domenica's flat in Scotland Street and are adjusting to their new life together.

The story of central interest in this collection revolves around Bertie, now seven, and his new found freedom when his mother is detained in a Bedouin harem - you will have to read the book. Nicola, Bertie's grandmother moves to Scotland Street to look after Bertie and Ulysses and determines that her grandson should have a less structured life.

The other major theme concerns Pat's father, Dr MacGregor. Pat is concerned that her father's new friend is only interested in his money so Pat and Matthew devise a plan to test whether this is the case.

Ethics and the need to do the right thing tend to be major considerations for some of the characters as they often agonise about their plans and possible actions however a solution is usually eventually found.

As this book is number 10 in the series, this volume is another collection of often amusing stories recounting the minutiae of the lives of a collection of characters we have come to know, all part of the revolving door of life.

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