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Forever Girl (Signed Book)

( 15 )

Overview

The author of the best-selling and universally adored No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series now gives us The Forever Girl, a novel about love and following one’s heart, and the unexpected places to which this can lead us.
 
Amanda and her husband, David, feel fortunate to be raising their son and daughter in the close-knit community of ex-pats on Grand Cayman Island, an idyllic place for children to grow up. Their firstborn, Sally, has ...

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The Forever Girl

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Overview

The author of the best-selling and universally adored No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series now gives us The Forever Girl, a novel about love and following one’s heart, and the unexpected places to which this can lead us.
 
Amanda and her husband, David, feel fortunate to be raising their son and daughter in the close-knit community of ex-pats on Grand Cayman Island, an idyllic place for children to grow up. Their firstborn, Sally, has always listened to her heart, deciding at age four that she would rather be called Clover and then, a few years later, falling in love with her best friend, James.
 
But the comforting embrace of island life can become claustrophobic for adults, especially when they are faced with difficult situations. At the same time that Clover falls in love with James, Amanda realizes that she has fallen out of love with David . . . and that she is interested in someone else. While Amanda tries to navigate the new path her heart is leading her down, Clover finds, much to her dismay, that James seems to be growing away from her. And when they leave the island for boarding school—James to England and Clover to Scotland—she feels she may have lost him for good. As Clover moves on to university, seldom seeing James but always carrying him in her heart, she finds herself torn between a desire to go forward with her life and the old feelings that she just can’t shed.
 
Through the lives of Clover and James, and Amanda and David, acclaimed storyteller Alexander McCall Smith tells a tale full of love and heartbreak, humor and melancholy, that beautifully demonstrates the myriad ways in which love shapes our lives.
 
Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, the 44 Scotland Street series, and the Corduroy Mansions series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served with many national and international organizations concerned with bioethics. He lives in Scotland.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553544329
  • Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/11/2014
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 102,153
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Alexander McCall Smith
Alexander McCall Smith
Law professor Alexander McCall Smith had already written more than 50 books before inventing the heroine for his No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series: Precious Ramotswe, the only female P.I. in Botswana. The books are as unconventional as their good-humored heroine, who relies on common sense -- and a few tidbits gleaned from Agatha Christie -- to solve her cases.

Biography

Alexander McCall Smith was born in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) and went to school in Bulawayo, near the Botswana border. Although he moved to Scotland to attend college and eventually settled in Edinburgh, he always felt drawn to southern Africa and taught law for a while at the University of Botswana. He has written a book on the criminal law of Botswana, and among his successful children's books is a collection of African folk tales, Children of Wax.

Eventually, Smith had an urge to write a novel about a woman who would embody the qualities he admired in the people of Botswana, and the result, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, was a surprise hit, receiving two special Booker citations and a place on the Times Literary Supplement's International Books of the Year and the Millennium list. "The author's prose has the merits of simplicity, euphony and precision," Anthony Daniels wrote in the Sunday Telegraph. "His descriptions leave one as if standing in the Botswanan landscape. This is art that conceals art. I haven't read anything with such unalloyed pleasure for a long time."

Despite the book's success in the U.K., American publishers were slow to take an interest, and by the time The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency was picked up by Pantheon Books, Smith had already written two sequels. The books went from underground hits to national phenomena in the United States, spawning fan clubs and inspiring celebratory reviews. Smith is also the author of a detective series featuring the insatiably curious philosopher Isabel Dalhousie and the 44 Scotland Street novels, which present a witty portrait of Edinburgh society

In an interview on the publisher's web site, Smith says he thinks the country of Botswana "particularly chimes with many of the values which Americans feel very strongly about -- respect for the rule of law and for individual freedom. I hope that readers will also see in these portrayals of Botswana some of the great traditional virtues in Africa -- in particular, courtesy and a striking natural dignity."

Good To Know

As a professor at Edinburgh Law School, Smith specializes in criminal law and medical law, and has written about the legal and ethical aspects of euthanasia, medical research, and medical practice.

When he isn't writing books or teaching, Smith finds time to play the bassoon in the candidly named amateur ensemble he co-founded, The Really Terrible Orchestra.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 6, 2014

    The Forever Girl is the third stand-alone adult novel by Scottis

    The Forever Girl is the third stand-alone adult novel by Scottish author, Alexander McCall Smith. New Yorker Amanda meets Scots accountant, David, they fall in love and marry. David’s work takes them to Grand Cayman, where they live among other ex-pats, Caribbean islanders and native Caymanians. They have two children: Sally, who renames herself Clover at four years of age, and Billy. Australian Alice and English doctor George live nearby, and their son, James goes to school with Clover at Cayman Prep. Clover and James are firm friends from day one, but as they grow up and Clover finds herself falling in love with James, Amanda realises the reverse is happening between her and David, and she is attracted to James’s father George. As events in their lives (parental separation, boarding school, University) see them drift apart, Clover is unable to dismiss her feelings for James, yet lacks the courage to speak of them because she knows he does not share them. As McCall Smith takes the reader from Cayman to Edinburgh to Melbourne and finally to Singapore through several decades of Amanda and Clover’s lives, he touches on many themes additional themes besides the main one of unrequited love: the concept of one true love; falling out of love; asking others to be a party to deceit; self-control vs repression; jealousy; obsession and irrational behaviour; private passions; platonic friendships; and guilt about inequality. As always, McCall Smith fills his novel with gentle philosophy as he tells his tale at a (perhaps too) sedate pace. McCall Smith has a well-honed expertise with the female protagonist, uncannily able to express what women think and feel. On God, Clover tells Ted “If it were a woman, she wouldn’t make things so hard for women”. He also gives them plenty of words of wisdom: on love, Amanda tells Clover “It’s the one thing, though – the one thing – that you just can’t be rational about. And I think that’s because love is fundamentally irrational – so how can you be rational about something that doesn’t make sense?” and about communication “We imagine that people know what we’re thinking, and they don’t. We misunderstand one another” Clover is a slightly frustrating heroine: she is given so much good advice that she ignores to her peril, yet the reader will not begrudge her the (fairly predictable) happy ending. Classic McCall Smith. 

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2014

    By below average, I mean definitely below average for this autho

    By below average, I mean definitely below average for this author, who is one of my very favorites.  The plot was unbelievable, almost preposterous.  Over 300 pages of painful miscommunication and deception between not-very-likable characters; then the denouement occurs in literally the last five pages.  I was very disappointed.  

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2014

    Lilywolf

    Testing...

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2014

    Disappointing

    I usually enjoy Alexander McCall Smith's but this book was difficult to read. Very slow moving and the characters not very interesting.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    Love Finds a Way  The Grand Cayman is an island so small that it

    Love Finds a Way 
    The Grand Cayman is an island so small that it’s usually missed by hurricanes.  So it remains a peaceful, quiet place with dreamy beaches where people lead uneventful lives
    until the odd storm comes along and knocks everything pillar to post.   Amanda and her daughter Clover want quiet, normal lives but love won’t let either of them alone,
    cupid pesters and riles them both in this great story that is a whole new direction for my favorite author.  
    None of the usual crowd is to be seen.  Bertie, Isabelle, the Professor and Precious are elsewhere as Clover and her mum sort it out.  It takes them a while as they try changing countries,
    leading new lives and meeting new people.  Nothing works until time and nature come to their aid.    
    By the way, we expect more big things soon as it seems that the Jane Austen Project promoted by Harper Collins has chosen AMS to do a new Austen lookalike (or is it readalike).  
    As he told Carole Burns in an interview this month, his new Emma, finished in December, breaks the mold as he introduces Italian motorbikes and a vicar breathalyzed for DUI!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2014

    Dappletail

    "Ack! It's a two-leg!

    0 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2014

    Jason to clovestar

    Hi

    0 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2014

    Cloverstar

    Huh? Is he gonna gonna capture me? She runs anayas

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2014

    Dan

    Well that just took the fun out of this.

    0 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2014

    Jak

    We did all that work and she thinks wed let her free herself

    0 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2014

    Cody POST

    She shrugged "You cant expect me to just lie there and not fight back while you watch..hiw is that taking the fun out? If anything it makes it better. At least i dont magically get out of all the bonds like some girls post" (post) [ post ] POST

    0 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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