Book Review: The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party by Alexander McCall Smith
Precious Ramotswe is startled by seeing a van, a white van that seems very familiar in Gaborone. She still longs for her little white van, Grace Makutsi suggests it might be the van’s ghost. Precious has a new client who is a large man, but seems nervous because two of his cows have been killed. The pieces to his problem don’t seem to fit together. Charlie finally seems to have a double portion of trouble and has run away. Finally Grace Makutsi’s big wedding is quickly approaching and the perfect wedding shoes have something to say. None of these problems are too overwhelming for the No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency owned by the insightful Precious.
I believe the overwhelming success of the No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series set in Botswana, Africa is the simplicity of life paired with profound truths. In each novel there are moments where I laugh out loud and I feel like these women are my friends. I love the quirks of each character and particularly love how Smith writes women, their thoughts are those I have had or thoughts that I have heard other women express. In The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party I come away feeling satisfied and rejuvenated, it is a welcome addition to the series.
I love reading of the rich and full lives of the characters. Their lives seem so simple compared to mine. I don’t know how to simplify my own life and so instead I travel to Botswana, upon occasion, to feast upon the simplicity and wisdom that Precious provides. I have even dreamed of traveling to the real Botswana though I fear it would be a disappointment not to be able to meet Precious and smell her bush tea, I suspect I wouldn’t care for the taste.
4 out of 5 stars
Book Review : The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith
Mma Ramotswe has been dreaming of a tall man waiting for her beneath an acacia tree. Though she has never met him, because he is not from Botswana, she feels she must know him. Though since it is only a dream it is unlikely to happen.
Phuti Radiphuti and his new wife, Grace Makutsi, have decided to have a home built for them. The contractor has strong ideas of what is right for the home, and he is confident he is the one to do the job right. The problem is that the contractor is shockingly rude and perhaps a might shady.
Fanwell was pressed into helping an old friend, or better described as an old acquaintance, but now the police have taken the apprentice away on criminal charges. To make matters worse the lawyer appears to believe that Fanwell is guilty.
Finally, Mma Potokwane, the matron of the orphan farm has been dismissed by the board of directors because she did not like the proposed budget saving scheme devised by Mr. Ditso Ditso. Of course, something must be wrong with this man because he drives an untrustworthy car, very flashy with lots of chrome.
Mma Ramotswe, Mma Makutsi and their beloved mentor, Clovis Anderson follow the sage advice in The Principles of Private Detection to find solutions to the myriads of problems presented.
Adult Point of View
I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and always look forward to the next book. There are lines that are repeated through every book, for example, having a cup of bush tea that could be annoying if all the books were read back to back, however, it is easy to enjoy like an old friend. I love the continuity in the characters’ lives. Everything moves slowly and with an expected cadence in their conversation and thoughts.
When I run into an old friend invariably she will ask me what’s new and I will think, and think because nothing seems new. Life is repetitive. The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection reminds me of real life in this way. Very little happens, that which happens comes about slowly and the book is full of the repetition we each have in our own lives. I believe one of the reasons that The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series is so popular is because of the characters; their quirks, honest portrayal of the human character and their reactions to each situation.
In The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection I particularly liked meeting the famed Clovis Anderson. He knew he wasn’t the man Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi believed him to be and had to confess his own short-comings. What is truly wonderful is Mma Ramotswe’s reaction, that he is important even if only one book had ever been sold because he has helped others. I highly recommend this series.
4 out of 4 stars