The Unbearable Lightness of Scones is number five in Alexander McCall Smithís ď44 Scotland StreetĒ series, and heís in fine form as always. I can never quite understand how he manages to release so many books that are all so great, but Iím not complaining. Each one of his books is more entertaining and touching than the last; The Unbearable Lightness of Scones is no exception.
Essentially, this novel isnít really about anything in particular. Itís about the day-to-day life of a host of characters weíve really come to care about as the series has developed. In writing, sometimes simplicity is the key, and McCall Smith is a master of the tiny details that make a book come to life.
His characters are so well-crafted that itís impossible not to feel connected to them, and he has developed them excellently throughout the series. Although a couple of new characters appear in this book, they are introduced nicely and donít feel out of place among our old favorites.
One of the bookís strengths is how true-to-life McCall Smith manages to make each situation. He causes us to feel so strongly about his cast that it seems as though weíre right there beside them through each awkward moment, every touching scene.
My only real critique are the few pacing issues midway through the book where my attention began to drift as the story went on. There are only so many comical awkward moments that we can laugh along to before the joke wears a little thin. By the end of the novel, though, I was right back in amid the action, and I canít wait for the next installment.
Fans of McCall Smithís familiar writing style will love this book. It may even win a few new recruits, through I would suggest catching up on the rest of the series first.