Thursday, September 18, 2008

Blue Shoes and Happiness: Don't Read this Post

I've been reading this book quickly, eager to learn the significance of the title, Blue Shoes and Happiness. In chapter thirteen, the mystery is over. PLEASE STOP READING NOW if you want to be surprised by what happens; read an older post, navigate away from this site, shut down your computer, get back to work, grab a snack--do whatever you must to stay uninformed.

Are you still reading? Okay, but don't blame me for revealing too much. If you've read some of these books you may have surmised that Mma Makutsi, with her penchant for shoes (she already has a pair of green shoes with sky-blue linings), will be involved. She cannot resist a fashionable blue pair "with delicate high heels and toes which came to a point" while out shopping with Mma Ramotswe. In fact, Mma Makutsi is positively smitten by them, decides she must have them, and purchases them. Unfortunately, she tries wearing them, intent on "breaking them in", but they are not suited for her "traditionally built" feet, and cause her pain. She cannot walk in them, and later confesses to her understanding friend and employer, Mma Ramotswe:

"They are a bit small for me, Mma," she confessed. "I think you were right. But I felt great happiness when I wore them, and I shall always remember that. They are such beautiful shoes."
Mma Ramotswe laughed. "Well, that's the important thing, isn't it, Mma? To feel happiness, and then to remember it."
"I think that you're right," said Mma Makutsi. Happiness was an elusive thing. It had something to do with having beautiful shoes, sometimes, but it was about so much else. About a country. About a people. About having friends like this.
~Blue Shoes and Happiness, Alexander McCall Smith


  1. What a beautiful, timeless comment about experiencing happiness, knowing it, and remembering it as such. Does it help us grasp the intangibles in life that are enduring? If so, does that make it art?

  2. These books are filled with such "art". That's why I'm reading the entire series.
    Thanks for your comment, Sandie.

  3. Blue shoes and happiness. 600 thread-count sheets and happiness. A new journal and happiness. Things don't always make your happy, but they can be enjoyed!

  4. How about blog comments and happiness? : )


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