Bertie's Guide to Life and Mothers (44 Scotland Street #9)
by Alexander McCall Smith
Anchor Books, 2015. 295 pages. Fiction.
Fan's of McCall Smith's series will love getting back on Scotland Street to see what is happening now with some of their favorite characters. At the center of it all, Bertie is finally turning seven - one year closer to turning 18 and being old enough to escape his mother's machinations by running to that bastion of freedom: Glasgow. At the same time, Angus and Domenica welcome (albeit half-heartedly) Antonia to their flat for a 3-week vacation with Sister Maria-Fiore dei Fiori di Montagna, a nun from the convent where Antonia went to recover from her bout with Stendahl Syndrome. Pat finds true love in a coffee bar. Bruce meets an over-eager waxologist. Matthew and Elspeth decide to hire an au pair to assist their au pair in caring for their young triplets. And Big Lou discovers that love can be found in a wide variety of places.
Readers of Alexander McCall Smith know that his books are all about the journey - and this is a journey that does not disappoint. He manages to find beauty and humor in the mundane, which is what makes his characters so easy to relate to. This is sometimes a slow and thoughtful read, but a joy to dip into every time.