Monday, April 21, 2008

The Miracle at Speedy Motors

Precious Ramotswe is back in the newest edition to the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency: The Miracle at Speedy Motors. Miracle reminds me why I am such a fan of this series: Mma Ramotswe is an endearing heroine, Alexander McCall Smith is an enchanting writer, and the books restore my faith in humanity.

This time, Mma Ramotswe must deal with threatening letters, a woman in search of her family, and her husband’s quest to heal their foster daughter’s paralysis. Naturally, nothing is as it seems, but Mma Ramotswe takes everything in her stride.

Miracle is not actually a mystery (none of the series is), and nothing earth shattering happens in the book. But the sedateness, the ordinariness, of the storyline is exactly what makes it so wonderful. Mma Ramotswe deals with real people who have real problems. All of the characters have flaws, but they also have redeeming qualities.

In McCall Smith’s Botswana, people are inherently good, family is the core of life, and the land has a spirit of its own. He acknowledges the darkness but relishes in the light. This worldview may seem idealistic or even naïve—but it is exactly the kind of attitude I wish to have. Miracle is the ideal cure for a case of pessimism.


The Aspirant said...

The way you describe Smith's novels is exactly why I read his work. I finish each novel feeling uplifted and satisfied. It never hurts to read something like that every now and then.

notaconnoisseur said...

I just finished The Miracle at Speedy Motors and do feel as if the sky is a little bluer and the air a little fresher. It is so delightful to read a book that makes me laugh out loud and feel grateful for the kindness of others.