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The Geometry of Holding Hands  By  cover art

The Geometry of Holding Hands

By: Alexander McCall Smith
Narrated by: Davina Porter
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Publisher's Summary

One of the author's most beloved characters is back - and once again she will have to call upon her powers of deduction and her unflappable moral code to unravel a new philosophical mystery. 

In Edinburgh, rumors and gossip abound. But Isabel well knows that such things can't be taken at face value. Still, the latest whispers hint at mysterious goings-on, and who but Isabel can be trusted to get to the bottom of them? At the same time, she must deal with the demands of her two small children, her husband, and her rather tempestuous niece, Cat, whose latest romantic entanglement comes - to no one's surprise - with complications. Still, even with so much going on, Isabel, through the application of good sense, logic, and ethics, will, as ever, triumph.

©2020 Alexander McCall Smith (P)2020 Recorded Books

What listeners say about The Geometry of Holding Hands

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  • Overall
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Like a frustrating old friend

I wish publishers had published a variety of women writing relaxed cozies about highly intelligent women in beautiful cities who think thoughts that are worth reading about. But they haven’t, or if they have, they haven’t promoted them, so such series are very hard to find. Such books seem to either have been written before 1980 and so are limited in number or the series and/or author disappear after one or two books. Isabel Dalhousie is a relatively known entity that can be counted on to deliver a rather predictable escapist commodity: slight adventure, worthwhile thought and (at least not always) not so many self-defeating masculinist assumptions about how a woman should think that reading her becomes unbearable before the story wraps up. This installment provides the usual array of frustratingly unreasonable decisions and unfathomable social meanderings but manages to wrap up all its loose ends in a way that suggests a reset into fresher adventures in future.

7 people found this helpful

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Sorry, I just could not finish this one.

I have read most of the books written by Alexander McCall Smith and I am sure that I will read others in the future. But I am sorry to say that I have never found this particular main character believable or interesting and this book was no exception. I am not a book critic. What I know is my own experience. I was disappointed in this story and could not finish it.

4 people found this helpful

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Elegant

This is book thirteen in the Sunday Philosopher Club Series. I have noted this is a series that either you love it or hate it. There is no middle ground. I happen to love it.

It is great to visit with Isabel Dalhousie again. Isabel is an ethicist and is busy musing over various ethical problems that she sees in everyday life. Isabel’s life has been getting busier with each edition. She is the editor/publisher of the “Journal of Applied Ethics” as well as a wife and mother of two small boys. In this issue she has been asked to be an executor of an estate of a stranger as a favor to a friend; and, Cat is getting married to someone Isabel does not approve of. Cat is going to sell the Deli and move onto a boat. It is fun to watch how Isabel navigates these problems. Isabel is pondering: “Where were the boundaries of your moral responsibility for others?” I enjoy Isabel’s musings and the tour of Edinburgh.

The book is six hours and fifty-nine minutes. Davina Porter does an excellent job narrating the book. Porter is one of my favorite narrators. She has been narratoring for many years and won many awards.

3 people found this helpful

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As Satisfying as Ever

McCall Smith has several series running simultaneously. The current releases of both the 44 Scotland Street series (The Peppermint Tea Chronicles), and The Sunday Philosophy Club series (The Geometry of Holding Hands) are their 13th installments. I often find that long series fade and get threadbare as they go on, but I'm happy to report that McCall Smith is getting better with age. The Geometry of Holding Hands is deeply satisfying, like a long conversation with a friend over a glass of wine or two. A conversation about ethics and morality, with a light and forgiving touch. Davina Porter is the perfect narrator for this series. May the author and the narrator keep them coming.

2 people found this helpful

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I'm Done with this Series

I've hung on through this series with a fair amount of enjoyment, but with increasing impatience in the face of Isabel's snobbery and self-satisfaction. Her awareness of her good fortune and inclination to contribute to people and causes she deems worthy for me fail to outweigh the qualities that I dislike. In addition, character and plot development in the series seem increasingly to take second place to repetition of information beyond that necessary to orient readers new to the series and to increasingly and exasperatingly frequent flights of fancy and displays of erudition and "comity" on Isabel's part.

1 person found this helpful

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A typical Alexander McCall Smith literary confection.

I think the bloom is off the rose for me, but I still have curiosity about these characters and whether the slings and arrows of life will actually affect Isobel and Jamie in any negative way.
It’s all a little too perfect for me, sometimes. A welcome diversion during Covid, but ultimately, a bit thin on the ground.

1 person found this helpful

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Lovely as always.

The moral philosophy can get tedious, but it does make me think. I love his positive portrayals of people.

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Sweeeeet

I love the brogue accent and the love imbued on all the characters. This is a perfect story for escaping one's own life's worries and offers some universal theories on human relationships.

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Stellar narrator

Davina Porter brings this book to a height not achieved by reading alone. She makes the people and events so three dimensional that it seems like you know them personally.

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Wonderful!

Another beautifully written story by Alexander McCall Smith and perfectly read by Divina Porter.I can’t wait for the next volume in this series.