Book review : A Distant View of Everything

THINK of a tree, if you will, that has branches spreading in all directions. This is the impression I got from this book.

It revolves around Isabel Dalhousie, a philanthropic editor of the Review of ­Applied Ethics.

She has a philosophical nature which she puts to good use throughout the book, meandering all over the place and going out of context with every little topic.

Suffice it to say that those talking to her get ­irritated easily. I was too.

Now, on to what the book is about.

Isabel is ­distracted by the recent arrival of her second son, Magnus.

Her ­eldest, Charlie, is jealous, and her housekeeper, Grace, has a rather condescending ­attitude.

And she is anxious because the next issue of the Review is far from ready.

And what does she do about all that? While helping out at her niece Cat's ­delicatessen, she promptly gets involved with a ­customer (well, an old friend, really) who draws her into helping with her mess.

She helps to matchmake a couple, before learning that the man might not be who or what he claims to be.

In her own meandering way, Isabel sets about getting to the bottom of things, and in the process, learns that she herself is not immune to ­misunderstandings and neurotic fantasies ...

This is actually quite an interesting book. I just wish Isabel didn't meander so much.