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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Book Review: Morality For Beautiful Girls


I am now a big fan of Alexander McCall Smith so much so that when I found many of his books for sale at the Book Sale in North EDSA, ayun, inubos ko na lahat. He's actually a professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh and only started writing his books in 1999.  Interestingly, he doesn't write like a lawyer - so no gobbledygook-y kind of words in his prose!

He is most famous for The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and what hooked me on this book turned HBO TV series was that it was set in Gaborone, Botswana - and the lead protagonist is a woman!!  I can only think of two other female detectives that I've read of - Agatha Christie's Jane Marple and V.I. Warsawshki - in a role popularized by Kathleen Turner.

Morality for Beautiful Girls is one of the books in his detective series and once again, it's set in Botswana!  What I like about the book is that McCall Smith allows you to be immersed into a culture and way of life so different from the frenetic urban life we are used to.  Add to that the threat of lions and leopards and a lot of wild animals - this is Africa after all - plus the threat of droughts and lack of water - then you don't just need one evil antagonist to deal with!

It's a very easy and relaxing read and reveals also a lot about how Africans think about life and morality. In a society which is still tightly knit in a family way - morality and being upright is still something people aspire for.  After reading his series of books, going to Botswana is in my bucket list, but the truth is - I don't even know how to begin getting a visa to the country!  Oh well, all things will just fall into place soon!

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