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The Pavilion in the Clouds

Alexander McCall Smith



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01 October 2021

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Bella lives on a tea estate in the hills of Ceylon. Her beautiful mother is lonely and adrift, her father, whilst loving, is distant and preoccupied with running the estate. It is 1938, and Bella's closest friends are her two dolls (named after ancient Chinese poets) much to the distate of her governess, Miss White. Eight year old Bella doesn't warm to her teacher and she starts to pick up odd signals from her mother - is Miss White involved with her father? As the days stretch out, and idleness makes mischief, something will have to happen - and of course, it does, upending all their lives. You know what you get with McCall Smith, and this new novel does not disappoint! Written in his trademark non-judgemental but perceptive style, allowing for all the foibles the human character is capable of, the story gently draws a portrait of a self-contained child's innocence and the blindness of the adults around her, and of a languid lifestyle that causes its own problems - and how redemption eventually brings its own blessings.  Lindy

It is 1938 and the final days of the British Empire. In a bungalow high up in the green hills above the plains of Ceylon, under a vast blue sky, live the Ferguson family: Bella, a precocious eight-year-old; her father Henry - owner of Pitlochry, a tea plantation - and her mother Virginia. The story centres around the Pavilion in the Clouds, set in the idyllic grounds carved out of the wilderness. But all is not as serene as it seems. Bella is suspicious of her governess, Miss White's intentions. Her suspicion sparks off her mother's imagination and after an unfortunate series of events, a confrontation is had with Miss White and a gunshot rings off around the hills.

Years later, Bella, now living back in Scotland at university in St Andrews, is faced, once again with her past. Will she at last find out what happened between her Father and Miss White? And will the guilt she has lived with all these years be reconciled by a long over-due apology?
By:   Alexander McCall Smith
Imprint:   Polygon
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 220mm,  Width: 145mm,  Spine: 25mm
Weight:   401g
ISBN:   9781846975899
ISBN 10:   1846975891
Pages:   240
Publication Date:   01 October 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the highly successful No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, which has sold over twenty-five million copies. Since then he has devoted his time to the writing of fiction and has seen his various series of books translated into over forty-six languages and become bestsellers throughout the world. These include the 44 Scotland Street novels, first published as a serial novel in the Scotsman, the Isabel Dalhousie novels, the Von Igelfeld series and the Corduroy Mansions novels.

Reviews for The Pavilion in the Clouds

'The ever fecund Alexander McCall Smith continues to surprise as well as please... This is one of the most enjoyable of his many enjoyable novels' -- Allan Massie * The Scotsman * 'this utterly engaging standalone novel shimmers with atmosphere and family tension ... a stirring, evocative psychological mystery set in 1938 as the British Empire limps through its final days' * * 'Strong characters and beautiful settings, from the mountainous tea plantation in Ceylon to the rolling hills of the Scottish countryside' * Asian Review of Books *

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