Friday, February 24, 2006

My New Cousin is Named Precious

One of my new favorite characters in fiction, Precious Ramotswe, is the the owner and proprieter of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency in Botswana, Africa. Precious is clever, honest and decidedly humorous in her dealings with the small and large cases brought into her agency. Plus she sports an enviable full-figured physique, drives a small white van, and believes eating a regular diet of pumpkin helps one along in life.

Precious, I wish you were my cousin. I may be a freckled white girl who lives in Texas, but I think we'd get along grandly.

One of my favorite Precious passages:

"She would go back [to Mochudi], she thought, when she had worked long enough to retire. She would buy a house, or build one perhaps, and ask some of her cousins to live with her. They would grow melons on the lands and might even buy a small shop in the village; and every morning she could sit in front of her house and sniff at the wood-smoke and look forward to spending the day talking ot her friends. How sorry she felt for white people, who couldn't do any of this, and who were always dashing around and worrying themselves over things that were going to happen anyway. What use was it having all that money if you could never sit still or just watch your cattle eating grass? None, in her view; none at all, and yet they did not know it. Every so often you met a white person who understood, who realized how things really were; but these people were few and far between and the other white people often treated them with suspicion." (p. 162)

Not bad, coming from the pen of a middle-aged white man, Alexander McCall Smith. Alexander, I tip my straw fedora to you, sir.

Please tell Precious hello for me, and that I'm a person who likes to realize how things really are. If she ever sees fit to visit Fort Worth, let her know we have plenty of cattle to watch.


Blogger Candy Havens said...

Hey Britta,
My nurse at my doctors office gave me this book. Great minds! -C

12:53 PM  
Blogger Britta Coleman said...

That's funny, and yes on the great minds. You'll love Precious. And she has a whole series.

I'll even share her if you want to be her cousin too.

3:57 PM  
Blogger Kern said...

I have not read Ladies Detective Agency, but I recently finished Red Sky at Morning by Richard Bradford published in 1968. A dollar find at Half Price Books has taken an early lead for my best read of 2006. As far as I can tell, this is his only novel. 17 year old Joshua Arnold finds himself relocated from Mobile to a small town in New Mexico near the end of WW2. He is left to care for his alcoholic mother and her simpering house guest when his father is commissioned by the Navy. His experiences are unforgettable in this coming-of-age tale.

10:42 AM  
Blogger Shannon Canard said...

I'm reading this book right now! It's fun, fast paced and endearing.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Britta Coleman said...

Let me know what you think ... I bet you'll love it.

12:08 PM  

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