- subtitle: Unexpected Love Stories
- first published in Great Britain 2015
- ISBN 978-1-84697-329-1
- 236 pages
- source: my local library
It is said that a picture may be worth a thousand words but an old photograph can inspire many more. In this beguiling book, Alexander McCall Smith casts his eye over five chanced-upon photographs from the era of black-and-white photography and imagines the stories behind them. Who were those people, what were their stories, why are they smiling, what made them sad?
What emerges are surprising and poignant tales of love and friendship in a variety of settings - an estate in the Highlands of Scotland, a travelling circus in Canada, an Australian gold-mining town, a village in Ireland, and the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. Some will find joy and fulfilment - others would prefer happier endings. Each of them, though, will find love, and that is ultimately what matters.
First of all, I need to point out this book is NOT crime fiction. It is part of ploy to widen my reading horizons although of course McCall Smith, the creator of Precious Ramotswe, is already an author that I enjoy.
What the author has done is to take five black and white or sepia photographs and imagine the stories that might be behind the photos. His stories make you look more closely at the photos, perhaps even to curse their fuzziness and the fact that you can't enlarge them. And yet each story seems very appropriate to the particular photo.
Just five short stories. So it is a pretty quick read, and an interesting one at that.
My rating: 4.5
I've also read
TEA TIME for the TRADITIONALLY BUILT
THE MIRACLE AT SPEEDY MOTORS
THE DOUBLE COMFORT SAFARI CLUB
4.5, THE SATURDAY BIG TENT WEDDING PARTY
4.5, THE LIMPOPO ACADEMY OF PRIVATE DETECTION
4.6, THE MINOR ADJUSTMENT BEAUTY SALON