A Distant View of Everything

A Distant View of Everything

Large Print - 2017
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Recently distracted by the arrival of her and Jamie's second son, Magnus, Isabel Dalhousie, philanthropic editor of the Review of Applied Ethics, is anxious. The next issue of the Review is far from ready, her eldest, Charlie, is jealous, and their housekeeper, Grace, has an officious approach to childcare. With some relief, Isabel returns to helping out at her niece Cat's delicatessen, where surely the most taxing duty is the preparation of sandwiches. It's not long before Isabel's helpful, philosophical nature draws her into customers' problems, specifically that of ambitious, self-proclaimed matchmaker, Bea Shandon. Bea has staged a potentially dangerous liaison involving enigmatic plastic surgeon, Tony MacUspaig, who may not be quite who he claims to be, and Isabel's help is required in getting to the truth of the matter. When the truth finally reveals itself, Isabel must conclude that along with MacUspaig, Bea, Jamie, and even Cat, she herself is not immune to misunderstandings, or the neurotic fantasies that arise from keeping secrets.
Publisher: New York :, Random House Large Print,, [2017]
Edition: First large print edition
Copyright Date: ♭2017
ISBN: 9781524780159
Characteristics: 369 pages


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Apr 16, 2019

11th novel in the Isabel series of 12 titles, thru yr 2018.
This is a quiet plot, more speculative in its design than action based.
I find Isabel's reflections on her own behaviors of "involvement" to be the center of her view of "what is moral proximity" and "why is involvement" important to serving a role in being a part of a community's, or individual's, well being?
'Why' does Isabel accept the position of her involvement to help sort out 'situations'?
Moral proximity means paying attention to those around us, in daily life. And offering to involve oneself in promoting their well-being. Make a difference.
We all know a neighbor whose needs are unmet, whether that's helping cut grass, care for children, shop for groceries, lend money for an emergency, visit in person.
Moral proximity is an ability to be kind to people. I saw, I went, I did.

Sep 16, 2018

Surreal reading. Isabel displays many identical habits to those of Ramotswe. Imagining things, smiling to herself, same words to describe her feelings and emotions are used...not to mention why a mother of a newborn child would get involved into resolving someone’s shallow problems that have nothing to do with her whatsoever. Much ado about nothing. Also, at times I was thinking that I was reading Wikipedia...

Jul 31, 2018

Enjoyable, clever, entertaining, thought-provoking, at times humorous. Characters are easy to relate to and understand. About friendship, acceptance, different perspectives, not jumping to conclusions. Enjoyed the internal dialogue of the various characters as, in all Isabel Dalhousie Mysteries, they grappled with various issues/concerns. Very down-to-earth. Told well.

ArapahoeAnnaL Dec 22, 2017

A light touch, deep questions, transformative moments. “A world where humor is gentle, suffering is acknowledged but not foregrounded, and efforts to do good are usually rewarded. It’s a wonderful place to visit, even if we don’t get to live there.” —The Washington Post

CRRL_JoyO Oct 23, 2017

Another enjoyable visit with Isabel. I love how she so often goes off into a train of thoughts that have nothing to do with the conversation she is having with someone. I love that Charlie wants to put Magnus down the drain. I love Brother Fox and moral proximity and Isabel getting involved in things that aren’t really her business and Jaime’s music and their free association game.

Sep 28, 2017

Always enjoy the discussion on moral and ethical issues. Niece Cat has a bit of news in this installment, and young Charlie wishes his new brother Magnus would get washed down the drain! Isabel only has one intervention during this novel, but otherwise she is occupied with a young wife and mother's busy schedule. One doesn't always need to be professionally involved in a career as a woman today, and it was nice to enjoy a relaxed pace in this round.

Sep 04, 2017

This is the 2017 book in McCall Smith's Isabel Dalhousie series. Isabel is asked to investigate a doctor who seems to specialize in getting wealthy women to part with their money. I found this one somewhat more interesting to read than the last one, but only just. Isabel spends too much time counting angels on heads of pins and worrying about nonexistent issues!

Sep 01, 2017

As usual, absolutely excellent. Isabel always makes sure to leave no misunderstandings, although that would be so much easier.

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