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This lovely book is very heartwarming and charming. It was originally published in serial form in a newspaper, and you can tell this by the way it is written, with pointed breaks in the narrative.  (This is an observation, and not a criticism.)

The basic story centres around the inhabitants of the various flats at 44 Scotland Street, in Edinburgh. In one flat we have the egotistical Bruce and his new flatmate Pat, who is sweet and compassionate. In another flat is Domenica MacDonald – intelligent and intuitive. Then we have Irene and Stuart Pollock – determined to provide the best possible future for their five year old son, without being able to see that they are not allowing him to enjoy the present.

The book also tells the stories of other people in their lives – Pat’s gentle but unmotivated boss, Matthew; Bruce’s colleagues and boss; Domenica’s friend Angus Lordie; and Bertie’s psychotherapist, Dr Fairbairn. 

There is an ongoing storyline concerning a painting in the gallery where Pat works, which may or may not be very valuable, but really this book is a gentle narrative of these people’s lives.  I found myself really starting to warm to several of the characters, who were all very well depicted, even if they did seem in danger of becoming a little stereotypical at times.

Overall, this is a perfect read for kicking back and relaxing with – gentle and humorous.  I’d certainly be happy to recommend this one.

(Author’s website can be found here.)

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