My Thanks to Mme Ramotswe

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These things I owe to Mme Ramotswe:

(1) a different, more enlightened, view of southern Africa

(2) a renewed interest in African History

(3) introduction to Sir Seretse Khama, from all accounts a great leader and Statesman, who led Bechuanaland to become Botswana; a much less well-known counterbalance to the horrors of western activity in Africa, such as Patrice Lumumba and Stephen Biko.

(4) Last, and most importantly, introduction to and encouragement for Red Bush (Rooibos) tea. Actually a tisane with a unique flavor somewhere between tea and coffee, it has become my morning beverage of choice. And I've gotten to the point where all of my afternoon iced tea is bush tea.

For more about Mme Ramotswe, see here. But I find I must modify that early, more negative review with the fact that Mme lingers on in fond memory and is a source of some pleasure to reflect upon long after having read the book. The book may have been a trifle, but Mme Ramotswe is not.

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OH, I love Precious Ramotswe! I particularly like the slow pace of Botswana, and the emphasis placed on tradition. Mma Ramotswe considers kindness and respect to be national characteristics, and I like that. Alexander McCall Smith answers questions here about Mma Ramotswe.

I'm a new visitor at Flos Carmeli, but I enjoy your posts very much.

Dear Talmida,

I think you hit the nail on the head. There is a pervasive gentleness to the stories and to Mme. Ramotswe herself. Kindness and respect, which is shown throughout the book with the array of titles by which each person addresses another, are wonderful characteristics of the world of Mme Ramotswe. It is a place everyone inclined to reading should visit.



That was my take on the series--the stories are but trifles, but Mma Ramotswe was the "real deal." I seemed to think of her as a real person, and I wanted to find out what happened to her next.

It's been a long time since a modern author created a character that stayed in my head and heart so much.

Maybe Jon Hassler's Agatha McGee (introduced in his book Staggerford)--she has become a code word for my sister and I when we see something that makes us shake our heads in disbelief. We call it having "an Agatha moment." But those are the only ones I can name off the top of my head.



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on November 10, 2004 7:39 AM.

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