This item is being sold by an Individual Seller and will not ship from the Online Bookstore's warehouse. The Seller must confirm the order within two business days. If the Seller refuses to sell or fails to confirm within this time frame, then the order is cancelled.
Please be sure to read the Description offered by the Seller.
The sensational sixth installment in the best-selling chronicles of the irrepressibly curious Isabel Dalhousie. Isabel's son, Charlie, is now of an age eighteen months to have a social life, and so off they go to a birthday party, where, much to Isabel's surprise, she encounters an old adversary, Minty Auchterlonie, now a high-flying financier. Minty had seemed to Isabel a woman of ruthless ambition, but the question of her integrity had never been answered.
Now, when Minty takes Isabel into her confidence about a personal matter, Isabel finds herself going another round: Is Minty to be trusted? Or is she the perpetrator of an enormous financial fraud? And what should Isabel make of the rumors of shady financial transactions at Minty's investment bank? Not that this is the only dilemma facing Isabel: she also crosses swords again with her nemesis, Professor Dove, in an argument over plagiarism. Of course her niece, Cat, has a new, problematic man (a tightrope walker!) in her life. And there remains the open question of marriage to Jamie doting father of Charlie.
As always, there is no end to the delight in accompanying Isabel as she makes her way toward the heart of every problem: philosophizing, sleuthing, and downright snooping in her inimitable; and inimitably charming; fashion.
“A memorable cast of characters…. McCall Smith’s assessments of fellow humans are piercing and profound …. His depictions of Edinburgh are vivid and seamless…. His fans … are sure to embrace these moral peregrinations among the plaid.” — San Francisco Chronicle
“Scotland is a village … just as exotic and compelling, in its way, as Botswana. When authors as clever as McCall Smith pursue such parallel tracks, readers are doubly well-served.” — The Wall Street Journal
From the Hardcover edition.
IT WAS WHILE she was lying in bed that Isabel Dalhousie, philosopher and editor of the Review of Applied Ethics, thought about the things we do. Isabel was a light sleeper; Charlie, her eighteen-month-old son, slept deeply and, she was sure, contentedly; Jamie was somewhere in between. Yet Isabel had little difficulty in getting to sleep. Once she made up her mind to sleep, all that she had to do was to shut her eyes and, sure enough, she would drift off. The same could be done if she surfaced in the course of the night or in those melancholy small hours when both body and spirit could be at their lowest ebb. Then all she had to do was to tell herself that this was not the time to start thinking, and she would quickly return to sleep.
She had wondered about the causes of her light sleeping and had spoken about it to a friend, a specialist in sleep disorders. She had not consulted him professionally, but had brought the matter up over dinner; not before the whole table, of course, but in the intimacy of the one-to-one conversation that people have with those sitting beside them.
"I don't like to ask about medical things," she said.
"But . . . ," he said.
"Well, yes. But. You see, you doctors must dread being buttonholed by people who want to talk about their symptoms. There you are at a party and somebody says: I've been having these twinges of pain in my stomach . . ."
"No, I haven't."
He smiled. "The old cliché, you know. Somebody comes and says, A friend of mine has this rash, you see, and I wondered what it was. That sometimes happens. Doctors understand all about embarrassment, you know."
Isabel nodded. "But it must annoy you—being asked about medical matters."
He thought for a moment. "Nihil humanum mihi alienum est, if I may lapse into Latin. I don't set my mind against anything human. Doctors should subscribe to that, I think. Like priests."
Isabel did not think the comparison quite fitting. "Priestsdodisapprove, don't they? Doctors don't—or shouldn't. You don't shake your head over your patients' behaviour, do you?"
"If doctors see self-destructive behaviour, they might," he said. "If somebody comes in with chronic vascular disease, for example, and you smell the nicotine on his fingers, of course you're going to say something. Or a drinker comes in with liver problems. You're going to make it clear what's causing the problem."
"But you don't ladle on the blame, do you? You don't say things like, This is all your own stupid fault. You don't say that, even if it patently is his stupid fault."
He played with his fork. "No, I suppose not."
"Whereas a priest will. A priest will use the language of right and wrong. I don't think doctors do that." She looked at him. He was typical of a certain type of Edinburgh doctor; the old-fashioned, gentle Scottish physician, unmoved by the considerations of profit and personal gain that could so disfigure medicine. That doctors should consider themselves businessmen was, Isabel had always felt, a moral tragedy for medicine. Who was left to be altruistic? Teachers, she thought, and people who worked for charities; and public-interest lawyers, and . . . in fact, the list was quite long; probably every bit as long as it ever had been. One should be careful, she told herself, in commenting on the decline of society; the elder Cato was the warning here—a frightful old prig, he had warned that everything was in decline, forgetting that once we reach forty we all believe that the world is on the slide. Only if eighteen-year-olds started to sayO tempora! O mores! would the situation be really alarming; eighteen-year-olds did not say that, though; they no longer had any Latin, of course, and could not.
"You were going to ask me a question," he said. He knew Isabel, and her digressions, her tendency to bring philosop
Excerpted from The Lost Art of Gratitude by Alexander McCall Smith
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.
An electronic version of this book is available through VitalSource.
This book is viewable on PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and most smartphones.
By purchasing, you will be able to view this book online, as well as download it, for the chosen number of days.
A downloadable version of this book is available through the eCampus Reader or compatible Adobe readers.
Applications are available on iOS, Android, PC, Mac, and Windows Mobile platforms.
Please view the compatibility matrix prior to purchase.