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Duffbert's Random Musings is a blog where I talk about whatever happens to be running through my head at any given moment... I'm Thomas Duff, and you can find out more about me here...

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Book Review - Espresso Tales by Alexander McCall Smith

Category Book Review Alexander McCall Smith Espresso Tales

A picture named M2

Following my enjoyment of 44 Scotland Street, I picked up a copy of Alexander McCall Smith's sequel titled Espresso Tales.  Still the same quirky characters as 44 Scotland Street, and still more of a "slice of life" book with no overall driving plotline.  Fortunately, it's still a lot of fun following the players as their pompous attitudes and actions get pricked and deflated...

Bertie is in a major rebellion phase against his overbearing mother Irene.  She's still trying to make progress with his psychotherapy, but she's more interested in the therapist than Bertie is.  Bertie's father also figures out that he's failed his son in terms of standing up to mom, and is determined to reverse that trend and give Bertie a normal boyhood.  But to do that, he has to disassemble Irene's "Bertie Project" against her will.

Bruce is convinced that he's ready to open a wine shop and become the next great wine merchant.  Ah, but he needs money to do that.  He manipulates a long-time wimpish friend (George) to join him in the idea and front the cash.  Bruce plunges in thinking he knows everything, but as usual he's completely clueless as to what people really think of him.  As the store gets closer to opening, he's in for a few surprises.

Pat has decided to attend Edinburgh University and stay at 44 Scotland Street.  Her father loves this idea, as he's grown quite close to his daughter.  Domenica manuvers Pat into a date with a coffee house waiter by the name of Peter.  She's somewhat uncertain about Peter on a number of different levels, and his invitation to attend a nudist picnic with him doesn't help much.  Domenica, on the other hand, is getting antsy for her next great adventure, and decides that a new study abroad is what she needs.

Matthew is surprising everyone by actually turning a profit at the art gallery.  He still holds a candle for Pat, but Pat really doesn't see him in that same light.  Matthew's world gets thrown into a complete tizzy when his father announces that he's dating someone who he intends to marry.  Matthew's convinced that Janis is just out to get his father's money, and makes his objections pretty clear.  But all is not as it seems, and he's in for a few surprises along the way.

And for the fans of Angus and Big Lou, they have their own adventures also...

Although I'm not a fan of "reality TV", I do enjoy the occasional book that goes down that path.  The characters of 44 Scotland Street are so engaging and quirky that it's hard not to want to watch their lives unfold.  Along the way, you see reality that's obvious to everyone except the person who's living it.  Makes you wonder how much of that is in our own lives.  I'm in possession of the 3rd installment, and I'm looking forward to starting it.  The way this book ends makes you wonder how this cast of characters will be able to stay together...

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Thomas "Duffbert" Duff

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