THE FORGOTTEN AFFAIRS OF YOUTH
The humorous, incredibly thought- filled life of Dr. Isabel Dalhousie, philosopher, is certainly heartwarming. Smith does a wonderful job of capturing the character’s numerous moments of drifting off in thought that will make her seem like one of your best girlfriends, or at the very least will put a smile on your face. An unanticipated twist at the end brings closure to the story, along with some semi-poisonous mushrooms, gherkins for the toddler and a wedding, all of which comes together to make for a delightful read.
Dr. Isabel Dalhousie helps a newfound friend, Jane Cooper, an Australian philosopher on sabbatical in Edinburgh, find her biological parents, despite the fact that all Jane knows about her father is that he was a student in Edinburgh. But Isabel also manages to find time for her own life: her son, Charlie, has begun walking and talking. Her housekeeper, Grace, is taking financial advice from a spiritualist. And, of course, there’s the question of when and how Isabel and her fiancé Jamie should finally get married. (PANTHEON, Oct., 272 pp., $24.95)