WITH A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR TO HIS CANADIAN READERS
It is said that a picture may be worth a thousand words but an old photograph can inspire many more. In this beguiling book, McCall Smith casts his eye over five “orphaned” photographs from the era of black-and-white photography and imagines the stories behind them.
Who were those people, what were their stories, why are they smiling, what made them sad?
What emerges are surprising and poignant tales of love and friendship in a variety of settings an estate in the Highlands of Scotland, a travelling circus in Canada, an Australian gold-mining town, a village in Ireland, and the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. A dapper, roguish-looking man perching on a lady’s knee sparks the story of a ventriloquist and an animal handler who work in a circus, and who, under the most delightfully unexpected circumstances, fall in love. The image of a woman haloed by light in a train station becomes the lighthearted tale of a nun’s decision to leave the sisterhood and discover what and whom the big city has to offer.
Some will find joy and fulfillment; others would prefer happier endings. Each of them, though, will find love, and that is ultimately what matters. Romantic, wistful and poignant, Chance Developments brims with flourishes of grace and humor that could only come from the pen of Alexander McCall Smith.
Praise for Alexander McCall Smith:
“McCall Smith’s accomplished novels [are] dependent on small gestures redolent with meaning and main characters blessed with pleasing personalities.” —Newsday
“McCall Smith is prolific and he’s habit-forming. He’s the crystal meth of popular fiction.” —The Globe and Mail
“Alexander McCall Smith is an excellent, old-fashioned storyteller.” —The Gazette
“Scotland’s one-man novel factory…. Smith’s writing has tons of charm and kindly wisdom.” —The Times
“McCall Smith’s talent for dialogue is matched only by his gift for characterization.” —Chicago Tribune
“McCall Smith makes the sublime look easy…. [He] has few peers in capturing the quiet moments of people’s lives.” —Publishers Weekly
“McCall Smith’s characters are well-drawn and alive…. A writer…who charms many readers.” —Providence Journal
“A prolific, popular and wonderfully peculiar writer.” —The Independent
“McCall Smith is a wonderful storyteller, and his stories are characteristically filled with humour and an innate, affectionate disposition towards the human race.” —The Sydney Morning Herald
”A vivid observer and an elegant writer." —The Plain Dealer
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