From the bestselling author of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series comes this splendid collection. Inspired by vintage photographs, these five lyrical stories capture the surprising intersections of love and friendship that alter life's journeys.
A smiling girl leading a younger girl astride a pony, and a boy in a kilt on a tricycle beside them, gives rise to a story of a lifelong romance between the two riders. 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 the big city has to offer. Charming and poignant, this collection brims with the flourishes of grace and humor that could only come from the pen of Alexander McCall Smith.
(With black-and-white photographs throughout.)
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, and the 44 Scotland Street 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 was born in what is now known as Zimbabwe and was a law professor at the University of Botswana. He lives in Scotland.
Praise for Alexander McCall Smith’s Chance Developments
“Written in praise of the human capacity for love . . . A sense of possibility, of the surprises that make even the quietest existence eventful, animates each tale . . . [McCall Smith] is a master at using the economy of the short story to highlight the amplitude of the imagination.” —The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)
“Endearing . . . McCall Smith is able—delightfully—to bring each character to life . . . McCall Smith writes with clarity, humor, and thoughtfulness.” —The Christian Science Monitor
“In Chance Developments, Alexander McCall Smith creates rich fictional stories about people featured in five anonymous photos. . . . Sure to tug at the heartstrings. . . . Takes some turns one wouldn’t expect. Just like life.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch
“McCall Smith once again exhibits his versatility with this vibrant and delightful collection of short stories all centering on the themes of love and happenstance . . . The stories are filled with the weight of real life and how chance finds its way in, no matter how we attempt to plan otherwise. Both uplifting and at times bittersweet and emotional, this collection is sure to delight both McCall Smith fans and newcomers alike.” —Publishers Weekly
“In all these stories, love and goodness ultimately win out, but the charming details and bittersweet human cost are what resonate.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A profoundly moving exploration of the idea that, sometimes, love really can conquer all.” —The Scotsman
“These stories are full of insight and empathy . . . [They are] works of depth and beauty that would not be shamed in the company of the world's great short stories.” —The Sydney Morning Herald