The Quiet Side of Passion
Alexander McCall Smith
Isabel Dalhousie is a busy woman. As editor of The Review of Applied Ethics, wife to Jamie, and mother to Charlie and Magnus, she hardly has time for herself. In an attempt to simplify life, she decides to hire an au pair and an assistant editor for the journal. Unfortunately, this doesn't have the desired effect. Life only becomes a little more complicated with the addition of two employees to the household.
On top of that, Isabel's found a friend for her son Charlie, a little boy being raised by his single mother, Patricia. Isabel can't help but get entangled in this woman's questionable lifestyle. But it's all in the name of trying to do good, even if things don't turn out the way she expected.
I'm always drawn to McCall Smith's stories. I love the feeling that I'm having an intimate chat with his characters, and Isabel is no exception. Her philosophical musings are thoughtful and often amusing. Her privileged and charming Edinburgh life creates the perfect atmosphere and backdrop to this series. It's the common questions and dilemmas that she must come to terms with that keep this tale both subtle and all-consuming. This is my first book in this series, but it certainly not my last.