Friday, March 21, 2014

The Forever Girl, By Alexander McCall Smith, Author of Several Series, Writes on True love... Have you Found it?

The Forever Girl
By Alexander McCall Smith

Fourteen months later, Clover was born. Amanda sent a photograph to her mother in New York: Here's your lovely grandchild. Look at her eyes. Just look at them. She's so beautiful--already! At two days!  
"Fond parents," said Amanda's father.
His wife studied the photograph. "No," she said. "She's right."
"Five days ago," he mused. "Born on a Thursday."
"Has far to go..."He frowned. "Far to go?"
She explained. "The song. You remember...Wednesday's  child is full of woe;
Thursday's child has far to go..." 
"That doesn't mean anything much."
She shrugged; she had always felt that her husband lacked imagination; so many men did, she thought. "Perhaps that she'll have to travel far to get what she wants. Travel far--or wait a long time, maybe."

Most children do not choose their own
name, but she did. She was born Sally,
and was called that as a baby, but at
about the age of four, having heard the
name in a story, she chose to be called
Clover. At first her parents treated this
indulgently, believing that after a day
or two of being Clover she would revert
to being Sally...But Clover refused to go
back to being Sally, and the name stuck.

Do you believe in love--in finding one individual who will be your soul mate--that you will be in love forever? Then this book is for you!

The forever girl had made up her mind while still a child. She had a best friend, a boy named James, with whom she was friends all through school. In fact, there were three of them who had all been friends, but two of them had chosen James to fall in love with...

Her father had obtained a job and the new family was on their way to Grand Cayman, a location that was filled with ex-pats from all over. The story of Clover's love for James begins there
but, the islands didn't have the schools to prepare most of the children, so she was also off to Scotland...
I have often wondered about the proposition that for each of us there is one great love in our lives, and one only. Even if that is not true--and experience tells most of us it is not--there are those, in legent at least, who believe there is only one person in this world whom they will ever love with all their heart...Such stories are touching, but the cynic might be forgiven for saying, yes, but what if the person you love does not reciprocate?

There is only one twist in this ongoing saga of unrequited love...It is that Clover's mother is also feeling unloved since her husband works so much. She has contemplated an affair and explored who on the island was one that she would even consider...  He happened to be James' father, the island doctor...

So it was that, on the very few meetings of this pair, they went for a boat ride--and got hung up during a storm on a small island. Finally, a boat comes to help and one of the passengers works with her husband... There had already been a determination that they were not going to meet any more but that didn't stop what happened...

And as the gossip spread, it happened that James began to pull away from Clover's friendship, as demanded by his mother...

So when Clover went off to Scotland, her mother and brother went as well, separated so that her parents could lead their own lives, whatever that meant... Clover began to be settled in at her school and life continued...

Having a novel concerning love that does not immediately lead to intimacy was quite refreshing for this reader--almost surreal, when most books and especially movies immediately move in that direction... If you are looking for a gift for a young teen/adult, this would be perfect. You can share how you feel about forming relationships foregoing the need to deal with the "messy" part of suggesting that she look to her future and play it all slowly...

Life in the Caribbean was interesting to learn about in greater detail...I've visited from shipboard but you don't really get anywhere beyond shops...Still the beauty to be found there in the islands is a treasure you can bring to mind, especially today when I look out and see snow in March! LOL

Attending boarding schools is an experience that most of us would never experience, so exploring that dimension of Clover's life was interesting--but not something I think I'd enjoy in reality. And, of course, most students there would be moving on to higher educational institutions... Both James and Clover were attending Edinburgh but rarely saw each other as both dated others.

It's going to sound corny to you because---well, because men don't think like this, I know, but I do. It's just the way I think--the way I am."
"Of course. We're all different."
"I've known this guy forever. Since we were kids. He was my best friend, I suppose, or that's the way I though of him. Then I realized--a bit later--that he meant more to me that that. I wanted him to know that but I couldn't tell him, could I? I left it."
He interrupted. "But you should tell people." He shrugged. "Otherwise they don't know. How can they?"
"Yes, maybe. But I didn't, and all the time I thought of him. And so the years went by and nothing happened. That's all there is to it, I suppose.
He stared at her in silence. "You still love him?"
She avoided his gaze. "I suppose I do."
The admission--to Padraid--made her feel light-headed...

This is a sweet story... A nice retreat of reality--does that make sense? Grand Cayman, Scotland, and later Australia are all visited--all places we may dream about visiting but never have the opportunity to actually travel there... Take that trip now! You might find that love of your life!


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