Reading Tea Time for the Traditionally Built was like slipping into a pair of comfortable shoes, soft and worn in all the right places. Once again, I found myself quickly immersed in the world of red tea, dramatic African scenery, and a familiar cast of characters, made even more familiar by the HBO series I've been watching on TV since it started on Sunday, March 29. The series is quite charming and makes me appreciate the books even more.
"She finished her tea and began to walk back into the house. There is plenty of work for love to do. Yes. There was breakfast to be made, and letters to be answered, and the problems in clients' lives to be sorted out. There was quite enough to do without worrying about the sun consuming the earth. Yes, one should not worry too much, and then she looked at her van and thought: How long will I keep you going? One more day? One more week? And then how are we going to say goodbye, after so many years? It would be like losing a best friend, a faithful companion--it would be every bit as hard as that."
~Tea Time for the Traditionally Built, Alexander McCall Smith
In the newest book, "traditionally built" Mma Ramotswe is troubled by the fact that her beloved, tiny white van is on it's last legs, while Mma Makutsi, her assistant, is troubled by a glamorous rival from her days at the secretarial college, Violet Sepohotho, who seems to be trying to lure away her fiancé, Rra Phuti Radiphuti. The detectives also have their hands full with a seemingly impossible case to figure out for Mr. Molofololo: why can't the Kalahari Swoopers win any more football matches, and who is to blame for this? There's also the case of the woman with multiple husbands--what is the best way to deal with her?
Tea is, of course, an integral part of this book by Alexander McCall Smith, and the traditional way of life in Botswana. I've been partaking in this tradition and drinking my fair share of red tea while watching the show (which I look forward to all week) and during reading. I finished reading Tea Time for the Traditionally Built in about two days, with a hint of sadness to be done. However, I'm happy to hear that there will be more books in this series, and on Sunday night, I'll watch the next episode of The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency.