The Importance of Being Seven: A 44 Scotland Street Novel
Alexander McCall Smith
Anchor, 2012 (2012)
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
've been a fan of Alexander McCall Smith for a long time. His books – no matter which one of his series – are always well-written, erudite as well as intriguing.
he Importance of Being Seven
is no exception. I had forgotten how domineering poor six-year old Bertie's mother Irene could be. Poor kid. He does manage to lose his mother for a few days of total bliss. His father seems to be stepping up to the plate now. Although I shouldn't use a sporting reference. Sports not being Bertie's thing. He does recognize that his baby brother Ulysses has the same ears as his psychotherapist! Being a Cub Scout entails sharing time with dreaded Olive and her sharp tongue. Life is not easy for our little but precocious friend.
ertie takes a great deal of responsibility for Ulysses, using him as a Show and Tell item for his class at school! Matthew and Elsbeth are expecting a baby. Great joy and jubilation in that quarter as well as a lot of apprehension on Matthew's part when he learns the true outcome of their pregnancy. They will have to move.
ngus, Cyril – Angus's dog - and Domenica accept an invitation from Antonia to spend time in a villa in Italy. Romance in the offing?
nce being caught up on the comings and goings of the wonderful characters at 44 Scotland Street, I allow the wisdom of McCall's words to sink in. He presents Edinburgh as a native rather than a tourist who is just interested in seeing the sights. He also presents his views on his characters' personalities. There is so much to muse over when a certain phrase or declaration comes back to mind. And I always feel richer when I have finished one of McCall's many books. He causes me to reflect on my own character.
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