My Friday Post: Sunshine on Scotland Street

Book Beginnings ButtonEvery Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City
Reader
 where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

I’ve just started reading Sunshine on Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith, one of his 44 Scotland Street novels.

It begins:

Even if she had not been an anthropologist, Domenica Macdonald would have understood the very particular significance of weddings. Anthropologists – and sociologists too, perhaps even more so – often tell us what we already know, or what we expect to hear, or what we are not surprised to learn. And so we all know, as did Domenica, that weddings are far more than marriage ceremonies; we know that they are occasions for family stock-taking and catharsis; that they furnish opportunities for naked displays of emotion and unscheduled tears; that they are a stage for sartorial and social ostentation; that they are far from the simple public exchange of vows they appear to be.

Also every Friday there is The Friday 56, hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice.

Friday 56

These are the rules:

  1. Grab a book, any book.
  2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader.
  3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  4. Post it.
  5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda’s most recent Friday 56 post.

Page 56:

He looked at his watch. That brief encounter with the two girls on Queen’s Street had taken place about twenty minutes previously. That gave him forty minutes to have a necessary cup of coffee, unpack his clothes and products, and have a quick shower before the girls arrived – if they arrived. They had laughed when he had shouted out the invitation, but it had been, he thought, a laugh of delight rather than a dismissive laugh.

The 44 Scotland Street books form a serial novel about the residents of 44 Scotland Street, a fictitious building in a real street in the author’s home town of Edinburgh. It first appeared in daily episodes in the Scotsman newspaper in 2004 and I read a few of them online some years ago.

I felt in the mood for something light and not about murder, psychologically disturbed characters, or full of doom and gloom and this seems to be just that – ‘a joyous, charming portrait of city life and human foibles‘ according to the Sunday Express (quoted on the back cover).

15 thoughts on “My Friday Post: Sunshine on Scotland Street”

  1. I’ve come to the conclusion that AMcS is one of those authors where you like some of his series but not others. I like the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency books and I don’t mind Isabel Dalhousie, but I can’t get into the 44 Scotland St. ones. My daughter is the complete opposite, she loves the 44 Scotland St. ones and can’t stand the others. And I have met a few people who feel the same about his books. Amusing. 🙂

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    1. Cath, I liked the TV version of the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, but tried one book and wasn’t very keen, but I really like the Isabel Dalhousie books. Strange isn’t it!!

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  2. Having been a faithful reader of the Scotland Street series for years, I stopped reading them a year or so ago at about book 6 and really want to get caught up. They’re always fun, interesting, and a nice change from my usual fare. Thanks for the reminder!

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  3. I’ve been a fan of Alexander McCall Smith’s work for a while, Margaret. And I’m so glad you featured this series, as I’m not sure it’s as well-known as some of his others. Glad you’re enjoying it thus far.

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