Explore in ‘Chance Developments’ five charming and poignant short stories. I absolutely adore the premise for this little book and the cover just invites you in. Alexander McCall Smith has imagined a background tale to the five black and white photos that appear at the beginning of each short story. The photos are eloquent and moving, the stories delve deeply into possibilities, love and friendship, joy and melancholy. From Sister Flora to a circus performer, each story is a small snapshot of what might have been, and as I read, I found myself drawn back to the photo, to look again and ponder. Alexander McCall Smith has transformed five forgotten photos into a discovery of delight. ~ Liz Robinson
May 2017 Book of the Month.
A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher...
'If you come across an old photograph what do you think about the people staring back out at you? Maybe that they are just anonymous people from another age, as if from another planet. Or do you, like McCall Smith, hear their voices, know their names, sense their hopes and dreams and imagine how their lives might have turned out.
Blessed with a wonderful, humane imagination, McCall Smith brilliantly constructs paths for these forgotten people - some joyous, others bumpy and winding, all with unexpected twists and turns.
An astonishing achievement: original and moving.' ~ Neville Moir, Editor of Chance Developments
In this beguiling book, Alexander McCall Smith casts his eye over five chanced-upon photographs from the era of black-and-white photography and imagines the stories behind them. Who were those people, what were their stories, why are they smiling, what made them sad? What emerges are surprising and poignant tales of love and friendship in a variety of settings - an estate in the Highlands of Scotland, a travelling circus in Canada, an Australian gold-mining town, a village in Ireland, and the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. Some will find joy and fulfilment - others would prefer happier endings.Each of them, though, will find love, and that is ultimately what matters.
|Publication date:||11th May 2017|
|Author:||Alexander McCall Smith|
|Publisher:||Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited an imprint of Birlinn General|
|Primary Genre||Family Drama|
'The book is vintage McCall Smith and if anyone is looking for an early Christmas gift, they should look no further. A reader may wonder whether if there were no Alexander McCall Smith, he would have to be invented' - Washington Times
'These stories are full of insight and empathy...the first two, Sister Flora's First Day of Freedom and Angels in Italy are works of depth and beauty that would not be shamed in the company of the world's great short stories' - Kerryn Goldsworthy, Fairfax Papers
'[This book gives] that feeling of pure unadulterated pleasure that a piece of my favourite chocolate gives me when it starts melting in my mouth' - Breakaway Reviewers
Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the highly successful No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, which has sold over twenty-five million copies. Since then he has devoted his time to the writing of fiction and has seen his various series of books translated into over forty-six languages and become bestsellers throughout the world. These include the 44 Scotland Street novels, first published as a serial novel in the Scotsman, the Isabel Dalhousie novels, the Von Igelfeld series and the Corduroy Mansions novels. — New York Times Alexander McCall Smith, often referred to as ‘Sandy’, ...More About Alexander McCall Smith