44 Scotland Street Makes Me Teary-Eyed

That's right!  Alexander McCall Smith's 44 Scotland Street makes me teary-eyed.  Not because of the plot or characters or anything like that, but because of the fact that I can close my eyes and see exactly what the characters are seeing.  I can walk and ride along with them in every aspect.  Sad and teary-eyed because I miss it so much.  Ugh.  Now I don't even want to write this.  My dreary day (though fantastic weather-wise with it's overcast skies, slight mist, and chilly breeze) is now reflected with a dreary mood :(

A view of the lovely sky from my backyard today.
Anywho...moving on to the book.  LOVED IT!  I like the fact that McCall Smith originally created this as a serial and ran it in The Scotsman every week and I can only image how fans reacted.  Personally, I would have found it nearly impossible to wait for the next installment to come out.  Oh the pins and needles!  However, since there are currently five books in the series, I think I'm good for the moment.

44 Scotland Street follows the inhabitants of a recommissioned row house located, fittingly, at 44 Scotland Street (it's a real place, too) and boy are they an eccentric bunch.  There's Bruce, the egotistical, chauvinist who makes absolutely no effort to make himself likeable and who thinks the world revolves around him.  There's Pat, Bruce's recently moved in roommate who is on her second gap year while trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life and failing miserably.  Next is Domenica, the older, single neighbor of Bruce and Pat who has the best stories and adventures to tell to anyone.  She is also the character who calls it like she sees it.  Then there's Bertie who is five and lives below the other three characters.  He's a little boy with entirely too much on his plate, pushed onto him by his overbearing mother, and all he wants to do is go to the school of his choice, play rugby, have a friend, and learn about trains.  Bertie's mother, Irene, is his arch-nemesis.  She's overprotective, judgmental, and completely delusional when it comes to her son and to life.  There are other characters who are integral parts to the story as well, but none of whom live at 44 Scotland Street.  Notable mentions are:  Matthew, Pat's boss at the art gallery; Big Lou, the proprietress of the cafe that Matthew frequents; Todd and Sasha, Bruce's boss and his wife; and Angus Lordie, a painter and friend of Domenica's.  

Throughout the story there are many misconceptions that the characters have about each other.  There is also a psychotherapist, a break in and attempted robbery, a lost painting, unrequited love, and an encounter with Ian Rankin to round things out.  It's a frolicking, entertaining, and at times angering read, but well worth it.  I can't wait to start the second book in the series to see where the characters are at now.


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