“I worry about you a great deal, Mma. I worry that you will take all the cares of the world on your shoulders and that you will collapse under the weight. I worry that you will open your heart to so many people that eventually it will be full – crowded – and it will stop because there is no room for the blood to go round. I am worried that you will look after so many people that you will forget that there is one person who also needs looking after, and that person is you, Mma. I am worried about all these things” Mr J. L. B. Matekoni.
The Woman Who Walked In Sunshine is the sixteenth book in the popular Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency series by British author, Alexander McCall Smith. Mma Ramotswe finds herself taking a holiday without even having consciously decided to do so. She has practically been railroaded into it by Mma Makutsi, Charlie and Mr Polopetsi, and, to her later embarrassment and shame, Mma Ramostwe realises she actually doubted the purity of Mma Makutsi’s intentions.
By the end of her first day, she has cleaned out the kitchen cupboards, excused herself from a bunch of gossiping women, rescued a young boy from slavery, twice sustained damage to her tiny white van and discovered that evil Violet Sepotho’s latest dubious venture. She misses going in to the Agency and, when Mr Polopetsi asks for her help with a case to which he has been assigned, Mma Ramotswe asks herself if Mma Makutsi is really up to the task of running the business.
As always, McCall Smith has his characters discussing or musing upon a myriad of topics: politics, getting the happiness we deserve, divine retribution, bread and dripping, our inner pyromaniac, getting stale, feminists and lesbians, uncomfortable truths and lies: “Lies can sometimes be as powerful as the truth, Mma. A lie about someone can hurt them even if everybody knows it’s a lie”. In this instalment, Mma Ramotswe learns something about herself, and about life, from an unexpected quarter, and once again, proves without doubt, her great kindness. Another heart-warming read. This audio version is, as usual, beautifully narrated by Adjoa Andoh.