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Chance Developments: Stories (Paperback)
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From the bestselling author of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series comes this splendid collection.
Inspired by antique photographs, these five stunning short stories capture the surprising intersections of love and friendship that alter life's journeys. In “Angels in Italy,” childhood friends, separated by circumstance, learn the enduring power of a first love. “Sister Flora's First Day of Freedom” introduces us to a young nun who makes a difficult decision to leave the sisterhood and finds delightful new riches in the big city of Edinburgh. The enchanting “Dear Ventriloquist” tells of a mishap at a Canadian circus that sparks unexpected magic between a gifted puppeteer and a dapper lion tamer. Changing a tire changes the life of a young Irish teacher in “The Woman with the Beautiful Car,” and a young New Zealander learns what matters in life from his grandfather, a WWII veteran, in “He Wanted to Believe in Tenderness.” These charming and poignant stories are a testament to the power of human connection and brim with a 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 novels and a number of other series and stand-alone books. His works have been translated into more than forty languages and have been best sellers throughout the world. 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.”
“In all these stories, love and goodness ultimately win out, but the charming details and bittersweet human cost are what resonate.”
“A profoundly moving exploration of the idea that, sometimes, love really can conquer all.”
“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
From the Hardcover edition.