Book Review – Chance Developments – A McCall Smith

What a joy, a small hand size hardback book, beautifully bound and tactile.

IMG_1700.jpgBook Review

Chance Developments – Alexander McCall Smith

c. Alexander McCall Smith 2015

“It is said that a picture may be worth a thousand words but an old photograph can inspire many more”

What a joy, a small hand size hardback book, beautifully bound and tactile. OK, apologies to those who are embracing the electronic medium however even though I like Kindle, a real book can’t be beaten in my humble opinion. I admit I had three, maybe four reasons to buy this one:

  1. I like the author and had previously enjoyed The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency and 44 Scotland Street
  2. He has used an idea I had, damn he beat me to it, of using photographs as a prompt for my writing. I was curious if he had succeeded
  3. This is a really well produced little book
  4. I love books, OK so not truly unique to this book, but hey still a good reason right?

This is a small collection of short stories, all of which are engaging and as usual with this author well written. The characters are immediately believable and the links to the imagined people in the pictures cleverly thought out and surprisingly were not predictable.

I really don’t want to spoil any of the stories so won’t go into detail but do highly recommend this for a holiday read, it’s ideal to dip into although I wouldn’t want to get sand in this beautiful little book so maybe it’s more a cuddle up with a brew in the afternoon and escape on a romantic interlude. It’s not just one for the girls so guys don’t write it off; its too imaginative and well written to be cast aside as chic-lit.

It’s not going to change the world, it doesn’t need to. In a way I wish the publisher had not added “Unexpected Love Stories” as a byline as I think it may restrict those who pick it up, which would be a shame. It’s a lovely little book to be read with a brew or give as a gift to anyone who enjoys short stories.

The author advises ‘Love transforms the people in these stories, as it may transform any of us’



I’m a writer and creativity coach focused on sharing my love of travel, writing and books. I motivate, educate and widen horizons by blogging about my world of travel and words, writing books and encouraging others to find their voice.