"The Right Attitude To Rain"

The Right Attitude To Rain by Alexander McCall Smith

This is the third installment in the Isabel Dalhousie series about a lady philosopher in her early forties living and working in Edinburgh. In this one Isabel becomes romantically involved with.......I can't tell you. You'll have to read it.

There is, as always, another story going on. This time her cousin, Mimi, and Mimi's husband, Joe, come to visit from Dallas. They all get invited for a weekend at a country house rented by wealthy friends of the cousin. The wealthy friends are engaged but Isabel suspects that all is not well between them and soon discovers the truth, in a surprisingly awkward way.

Isabel's niece, Cat, who runs the local deli, is not happy about her aunt's relationship and they spend much of this book not talking, resulting in Cat's not playing as big a part as usual in the story.

The biggest difference in this one is that most of Isabel's philosophizing is about her own life and romantic situation. Some of her attention is given to her cousin and friends, and some to Cat, but for most of the book she's agonizing over the appropriateness of the affair she's having and what it means for her own life and her lover's. I found that a bit tedious and Isabel can be somewhat smug at times, but I'll go back to this series again because the combination of philosophy and Scotland is irresistible.

My favourite lines:

"That was the problem with morality: it required a consistency and even-handedness that most of us simply did not possess. Or some schools of morality required that; and the more she thought about it, the more Isabel came to believe that such requirements were simply inhuman. That was not the way we worked as human beings. We were weak, inconsistent beings and we needed to be judged as such."

A bit of suspense: expect a big surprise ending. Big. 


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