Read One, Read Them All
Alexander McCall Smith’s The House of Unexpected Sisters is as refreshing as the other 17 books in the seriesBy Vivek Tejuja
This is the 18th book in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Series by Alexander McCall Smith and at no point do you get bored. It is the 18th book and he is still at it, charming readers all over the world. The House of Unexpected Sisters is as interesting and quaint as the first book in the series and my sincere advice is that you read the other 17 if you haven’t yet, after reading this one. There is really no connection in the books, except the protagonist Mma Ramotswe and her detecting skills, which will clearly have you begging for more. The House of Unexpected Sisters is about first impressions and forgiveness and how even Mma Ramotswe learns a lesson or two from her experience. This time, the case is about a woman who has been wrongly dismissed from her job and how Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi have to get to the bottom of things, as not everything is what it seems on the surface. Who is the mystery woman Mingie Ramotswe and what has she got to do with all of this? McCall Smith really keeps getting better with every single book.
And might I add, the unusual title and its reason will leave you with a smile on your face. Most of McCall Smith’s books have titles I wouldn’t call unusual or odd. They are strangely heartwarming, so inviting that even if you weren’t going to read the book, you would pick it up just for the title. Alexander McCall Smith’s writing is fluid, full of grace, witty and very atmospheric. I was initially wary of reading his books, but once I got into them, there was no turning back. He makes the Kalahari, and the entire region of Botswana, where the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series is set, cone alive.
The novel makes you feel refreshed (if a book has ever done that). Just the descriptions mentioned by McCall Smith are enough, in my opinion, to actually get you closer to the world he writes about. Also, the crimes that are undertaken by the duo aren’t really in the traditional sense of the word, crimes. These are more complicated and linked with a lot of emotions. The House of Unexpected Sisters is about a lot of emotions and unresolved issues, resulting from those emotions. McCall Smith has such a beautiful and kind way of expressing what he feels that it is impossible to put down any of his books, once you have started them. It is as though you are speaking with a long-lost friend and you have so much to hear about them. Definitely a must-read! Go and read all his books in the series.