Monday, April 07, 2008

Book: Morality for Beautiful Girls

I'm all, do-dee-do, what should I write about? Oh yeah! I read another book yesterday.

Another No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency book... the library did not have the 2nd in the series so I just dove right into the 3rd. Didn't seem to matter, it was pretty easy to piece together what happened in the second book (picked up some orphans, got engaged, promoted the secretary).

What I am really enjoying about these books are the larger overarching storylines about the relationships between the people and the slow character development, as well as the subtle musings about what it's like to live in Botswana and to be so proud of your country and the lifestyle of the people there. There are a few small mysteries to be solved in each book (so it seems) -- nothing scary, nothing to get your heart racing, just small, everyday mysteries or problems that need investigation. But what happens beside those mysteries -- that's the story, and that's what I'm loving in the book. The personalities are painted like those sketches that you see where you can't understand how three or four quickly drawn lines capture the very essence of a scene or a person -- deceptively simple, but concise and exact.

Also I love the gentle humor throughout the book. Mma Ramotswe, the detective lady, is, as we've discussed, a traditionally built lady. Passages like this crack me up: "She finished her tea and then ate a large meat sandwich which Rose had prepared for her... She had a taste for sugar, however, and that meant that a doughnut or a cake might follow the sandwich. She was a traditionally built lady, after all, and she did not have to worry about dress size, unlike those poor, neurotic people who were always looking in mirrors and thinking that they were too big. What was too big, anyway? Who was to tell another person what size they should be? It was a form of dictatorship, by the thin, and she was not having any of it. If these thin people became any more insistent, then the more generously sized people would just have to sit on them. Yes, that would teach them! Hah!"

I love it.

Not much else to say except read these books if you are in the mood for something light, gentle, delightful and calming. Prepare to be charmed.

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