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The Forgotten Affairs of Youth by Alexander…
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The Forgotten Affairs of Youth

by Alexander McCall Smith

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4532636,836 (3.7)30
Isabel and her fiancé know who they are and where they come from. But not everybody is so fortunate. Jane Cooper, a visiting Australian philosopher on sabbatical in Edinburgh, has more questions than answers. Adopted at birth, Jane is trying to find her biological father, but all she knows about him is that he was a student in Edinburgh years ago. When she asks for Isabel's help in this seemingly impossible search ... well, of course Isabel obliges.… (more)
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» See also 30 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
How could it be that these just keep getting better? Or am I in a particular mood right now and this just fits? There is a quietly joyous tilt to these stories, a sense that right here, right now, just as we are, if we listen and pay attention that the events of our lives, the small events, the large, tilt toward the good. "Many of us lead our lives in the shadow of what we have lost."
Stepping out of this shadow: that's the thread we follow.
( )
  MaryHeleneMele | May 6, 2019 |
This is the eighth book in the Isabel Dalhousie series, and one I thoroughly enjoyed. I've read nearly all of these charmingly written novels and find the characters as well as the setting of Edinburgh, Scotland to be pleasantly calming. Isabel is a philosopher who often pauses in the middle of a conversation to contemplate the various meanings of a word or phrase. She is the doting mother of Charlie, a toddler with a sophisticated palate, and is engaged to Jamie, a musician and Charlie's father. In each book she finds herself being asked to help someone and this time it is a woman who was adopted at birth and is trying to locate her biological father. So there is a bit of a mystery involved, but the plot is secondary to the characters. It's just a sweet book you can enjoy without having read any of the others. ( )
  PhyllisReads | Apr 27, 2019 |
I really liked this one, a welcome relief after book 7 that seemed generally weak. McCall Smith's books are so soothing and civilized! ( )
  Siubhan | Feb 28, 2018 |
The Isabel Dalhousie series are just really special, there is something simple and lovely about the stories, stories which always follow a moral code of goodness and honesty.
Isabel is a clever, funny and beautiful character, she is the kind of person you hope you knew in reality, I think (and hope) that there must be some people out there who resemble her values and principles - she is the kind of fictitious person I wish I could one day become. The problem is, she is just too good, no white lies or mini deceptions allowed, even if it means upsetting people with the hard honest truth. I think sometimes people should just be left to be happy, whether what they think and act is an illusion.
This particular story once again follows a series of characters who need Isabel's help to discover something or solve some kind of problem which needs addressing in their lives. Once again there are appearances from Isabel's troublesome niece Cat, Brother Fox and his new cub, her relationship issues with Jamie, baby Charlie's eccentric food tastes, art and the tricky philosophical questions of everyday life.

I hope whoever decides to read this series will seriously enjoy it! :D

http://feelingslightlybookish.blogspot.co.uk/ ( )
  Charlotte1162 | Nov 29, 2017 |
An Australian philosopher comes to Scotland and meets up with Isabel in hopes of tracing her real parents. I hadn't realized how far ahead I had jumped into the series and she and Jame are together with a baby!!!! ( )
  lhaines56 | Feb 26, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
The principal mystery in McCall Smith’s latest novel featuring the wise but impish Edinburgh philosopher Isabel Dalhousie turns on a visiting Australian academic who is searching for her birth father. As usual, McCall Smith makes a little plot go a long way, mostly by dressing up Edinburgh with countless small adventures and gentle observations.
added by VivienneR | editThe Toronto Star, Jack Batten (Feb 25, 2012)
 

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alexander McCall Smithprimary authorall editionscalculated
Skopan, MartineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is for Diane Martin, editor and friend.
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Isabel Dalhousie, a philosopher, lowered her copy of the Scotsman newspaper and smiled.
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