In the Company of Cheerful Ladies Paperback – 2005
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Precious Ramotswe, that cheerful Botswanan private investigator of 'traditional build', is now married to Mr J.L.B. Matekoni of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. The Agency is busy, but Mma Ramotswe cannot ignore the plea which is made by a woman who comes to her with a tale of particular misfortune. Unfortunately, her attempts to help are interrupted by a close encounter between her tiny white van and a bicycle, and by a spectacular disagreement between her assistant, Mma Makutsi, and one of the apprentices at the garage. This apprentice has found a fancy girlfriend who drives a Mercedes-Benz. How can he be rescued from his folly? And as for Mma Makutsi, she has found a dancing class, and a man who may not be able to dance very well, but who admires her greatly. And all of this happens against a background of quiet sessions of bush tea, and of a land that stretches out forever under mile upon mile of empty sky...
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Top Customer Reviews
As the story opens, Precious is frustrated by the changes in Botswana from the good values of its past. She is discouraged to find out how hard it is to do the right thing when others don't. A woman scrapes another's car and drives off before Precious can write down her license plate number. Observing a theft in progress, she takes off in pursuit . . . only to be accosted by her waitress for attempted theft of her meal. The waitress then tries to extort money from Precious in exchange for not calling the police. You get the idea. It's been a tough afternoon.
Arriving home, Precious is puzzled. Things seem to have been moved. And whenever she lies down to rest, there's a strange sound. What could it be? Before long, that puzzle turns into an unexpected pair of trousers and a pumpkin. Whatever could be going on?
At the garage, J.L.B. Matekoni is overwhelmed with work. Charlie is acting up, and taking too much interest in an older woman who drives a Mercedes. What can they do about it?
While tailing Charlie and his lady friend in her white van, Precious is startled to see the two turn into J.L.B. Matekoni's house. In the process, she runs a cyclist off the road and his bicycle is broken. In this way, we are introduced to Mr Polopetsi who seems to be on his way to becoming a major figure in the series who initially divides his time between garage tidying and detective activities.Read more ›
I'm so glad I did! What a delightful read for a hot summer day under a tree in the back yard. It also brought back happy memories of my travels in Africa. Since the focus is more on character & setting than on plot or mystery, it was especially enjoyable to me.
Now that I have made the acquaintance of Mme Ramotswe so late in the game, I am determined to get her life story straight by getting all the other books in the series and reading them in the correct order.
So much one hears of Africa is doom and gloom, hopelessness, poverty & war; it is a nice change to read about its people having what we westerners would consider a normal life.
In THE FULL CUPBOARD OF LIFE, Mma Ramotswe really only has one case: she's hired by a wealthy woman, who, like Mma Ramotswe, was blessed with girth rather than height, to investigate her five suitors, which Mma Ramotswe does in her typically humorous and no nonsense fashion. But that's just the spine of the story. Much more happens in the book and it's every bit as interesting as Mma Ramotswe's detective work.
If anyone has stayed away from this series of books because they're set in Botswana, they're making a huge mistake. These books portray the universality of human behavior, not their differences. And, they're filled with so much warmth and gentle humor it would, I think, take a cold-hearted person not to fall in love with the characters and want more.
Smith lavishes as much love and care on his secondary characters as he does on his primary ones, all to the book's credit. Mma Makutsi plays an enlarged role in this book, experiencing one heartbreaking event as well as one dream come true. Mma Potokwane is also featured as she contemplates writing a book and attempts to sort out the marriage plans of Mma Ramotswe and Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni.
THE FULL CUPBOARD OF LIFE is a warm, wise, witty book told with, above all, plenty of heart.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Another delightful visit with the residents of Gabarone and surrounding villages. These characters feel like family. I enjoyed it immensely.Published 22 months ago by dragonworks
An entertaining read though not as entertaining as the previous novels. Dwelling more on character building, it will certainly serve to build on further stories in the series. Read morePublished on Feb. 3 2014 by Peter Jones
Normally one to stick with a bestseller that EVERYONE is reading---you know the books I'm talking about---DA VINCI CODE by Brown or McCrae's KATZENJAMMER, I instead opted for this... Read morePublished on June 27 2006 by Avid Reader (who isn't?)
This book is guaranteed to make you feel cheerful. The lead characters are delightfully human and the plot moves at an amiable, always interesting place. Read morePublished on March 23 2006 by faithful reader
Although I thoroughly enjoyed this book as I did the other four -- the pace, the writing, the gentleness of the characters were all wonderful-- I was troubled by one central... Read morePublished on May 16 2004
Life is good. Precious Ramotswe is back. Of traditional build and generous heart she's the indefatigable, irresistible proprietress of Botswana's No. Read morePublished on May 3 2004 by Gail Cooke