The Forever Girl

The Forever Girl

by Alexander McCall Smith
4.2 13

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The Forever Girl by Alexander McCall Smith

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.

This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.  

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307908261
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/11/2014
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 221,856
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

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.


Edinburgh, Scotland

Date of Birth:

August 24, 1948

Place of Birth:


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The Forever Girl 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
crazy4hawaii More than 1 year ago
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.  
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
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. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I usually enjoy Alexander McCall Smith's but this book was difficult to read. Very slow moving and the characters not very interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
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"Ack! It's a two-leg!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Huh? Is he gonna gonna capture me? She runs anayas
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We did all that work and she thinks wed let her free herself
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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