Precious and Grace is the 17th book in Alexander McCall Smith's The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. I enjoy these and pick them up as they become available in paperback.
from the back of the book:
In the latest installment of this beloved and bestselling series, changes are afoot at the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Mma Makutsi, who has recently been promoted to co-director, has been encouraging Mma Ramotswe to updateto more modern office practices. An unusual case, however, will require both of them to turn their attention firmly to the past. A young Canadian woman who spent her early childhood in Botswana requests the agency's help in recalling her life there. Precious and Grace set out to locate the house that the woman lived in and the caretaker who looked after her many years ago. But when the journey takes an unexpected turn, they are forced to consider whether some things are better left in the past.favorite quotes:
Mma Remotswe dispenses help and sympathy with the graciousness and warmth for which she is so well known, and everyone involved is led to surprising isights into the healing power of compassion, forgiveness, and new beginnings.
Tall people could forget that the world might look quite different if you were short; and of course well-off people had a marked tendency to forget how things might look if you were poor. We have to remind ourselves, she thought. We have to remind ourselves how the world looked when viewed from elsewhere.
Marriage was all about honesty, and being open, but she had always felt that just about every married person had something, some sorrow or secret, that was not shared, that was a private area of their lives that might not be shared with a spouse. It could be something sad or painful, or it could be something just mildly embarrassing, some tiny failing or silliness, some moment of mild shame, but it was no reflection on the marriage that this thing should be kept tucked away. We are the people we want ourselves to be, and then there are the people we actually are: sometimes it is easier to be the people we want ourselves to be if we keep at least some things to ourselves.
Kirkus Reviews concludes, "More than ever, the rewards are local and properly humble, as in every moment experience and wisdom triumph over the blinkered clichés they regularly confront." Publishers Weekly closes by saying, "As ever, Smith adroitly mixes gentle humor with important life lessons."
I've read the others:
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Tears of the Giraffe
Morality for Beautiful Girls
The Kalahari Typing School for Men
The Full Cupboard of Life
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies
Blue Shoes and Happiness
The Good Husband from Zebra Drive
Tea Time for the Traditionally Built
The Miracle at Speedy Motors
The Double Comfort Safari Club
The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party
The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection
The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon
The Handsome Man's De Luxe Cafe
The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine