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Chance Developments

Chance Developments

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Alexander McCall Smith
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WITH A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR TO HIS CANADIAN READERS

It is said that a picture may be worth a thousand words but an old photograph can inspire many more. In this beguiling book, McCall Smith casts his eye over five “orphaned” 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. A dapper, roguish-looking man perching on a lady’s knee sparks the story of a ventriloquist and an animal handler who work in a circus, and who, under the most delightfully unexpected circumstances, fall in love. The image of a woman haloed by light in a train station becomes the lighthearted tale of a nun’s decision to leave the sisterhood and discover what and whom the big city has to offer.
 
Some will find joy and fulfillment; others would prefer happier endings. Each of them, though, will find love, and that is ultimately what matters. Romantic, wistful and poignant, Chance Developments brims with flourishes of grace and humor that could only come from the pen of Alexander McCall Smith.