Book Review : Precious and Grace
No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series
By Alexander McCall Smith
In this latest installment of the beloved and best-selling No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, Precious Ramotswe and Grace Makutsi help a young woman on a quest to find someone from her past.
Changes are afoot at the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, where Mma Makutsi, who has recently been promoted to co-director, has been encouraging Mma Ramotswe to update to more modern office practices. However, an unusual case will require both of them to turn their attention firmly to the past. A young Canadian woman who spent her early childhood in Botswana requests the agency s help in recovering important pieces of her life there. With only a faded photograph and, of course, some good old-fashioned detective skills to guide them, Precious and Grace set out to locate the house that the woman used to live in and the caretaker who looked after her many years ago. But when the journey takes an unexpected turn, they are forced to consider whether some lost things may be better off unfound.
Busy as she is with this challenging investigation, Mma Ramotswe can always be relied on to come to the aid of her friends who seem to have a special knack for landing in hot water. Mr. Polopetsi, an occasional assistant at the agency, has made an ill-advised business decision that may lead to serious trouble. And next door at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, Fanwell, the junior mechanic, has become helplessly attached to a stray dog who proves to be a bigger responsibility than he can handle. With Mma Makutsi by her side, Mma Ramotswe dispenses help and sympathy with the graciousness and warmth for which she is so well known, and everyone is led to surprising insights into the healing power of compassion, forgiveness, and new beginnings.” (Courtesy of goodreads.com)
Adult Point of View
Precious and Grace have an interesting relationship. Grace is very difficult to get along with because she is naturally prickly and seems to want to be offended. Despite their differences they respect each other and maintain their friendship. However, their friendship and working relationship wouldn’t work if Precious wasn’t flexible and forgiving.
Precious always wants to see the best in others and believes the best in others. She decides she cannot, even hypothetically, toss Violet Sepotho out of a hot air balloon, even if it meant saving Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. Not only is Precious tolerant of Grace, she is tolerant of other’s foibles. Poor Mr. Polopetsi has naively become embroiled in a pyramid scheme. It would be too easy to say that he had been stupid, but Precious works on building him up while helping him solve his problems.
Precious and Grace has an unusual speech on forgiveness. Author’s avoid moralizing as a general rule, however, Smith embraces this role as he discusses the benefits of forgiving others. I thought he walked a fine line by tackling such a subject, and yet everything he said was true. We are better off when we are forgiving.
In a world filled with incivility I love stepping into the rhythm of Mma Precious Ramotswe’s life. Even when others are confrontational she maintains her smooth demeanor. I believe we could all learn how to be better by emulating Precious.
4 out of 5 stars
- the Mother
If you liked this one try The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, Moon Over Manifest by ClareVanderpool and The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery.