Excerpt from Tears of The Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Tears of The Giraffe

By Alexander McCall Smith

Tears of The Giraffe
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Paperback: Sep 2001,
    208 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Mr J.L.B. Matekoni moved forward and placed a comforting hand on the maid's shoulder.

"Do not worry, Florence," he said. "She is a good woman, and I shall make sure that you will get another job. I have a cousin who has that hotel near the bus station. He needs maids and if I ask him to give you a job he will do so."

This did not pacify the maid. "I do not want to work in a hotel, where everyone is treated like a slave," she said. "I am not a do-this, do-that maid. I am a high-class maid, suitable for private houses. Oh! Oh! I am finished now. You are finished too if you marry this fat woman. She will break your bed. You will surely die very quickly. This is the end for you."

Mr J.L.B. Matekoni glanced at Mma Ramotswe, signalling that they should leave the kitchen. It would be better, he thought, if the maid could recover in private. He had not imagined that the news would be well received, but he had certainly not envisaged her uttering such embarrassing and disturbing prophecies. The sooner he spoke to the cousin and arranged the transfer to the other job, the better.

They went back to the sitting room, closing the door firmly behind them.

"Your maid is a difficult woman," said Mma Ramotswe.

"She is not easy," said Mr J.L.B. Matekoni. "But I think that we have no choice. She must go to that other job."

Mma Ramotswe nodded. He was right. The maid would have to go, but so would they. They could not live in this house, she thought, even if it had a bigger yard. They would have to put in a tenant and move to Zebra Drive. Her own maid was infinitely better and would look after both of them extremely well. In no time at all, Mr J.L.B. Matekoni would begin to put on weight, and look more like the prosperous garage owner he was. She glanced about the room. Was there anything at all that they would need to move from this house to hers? The answer, she thought, was probably no. All that Mr J.L.B. Matekoni needed to bring was a suitcase containing his clothes and his bar of carbolic soap. That was all.

Excerpted from Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith. Copyright © 2000 by Alexander McCall Smith. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Hundred-Year House
    The Hundred-Year House
    by Rebecca Makkai
    Rebecca Makkai's sophomore novel The Hundred-Year House could just have easily been titled ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Valley of Amazement
    by Amy Tan
    "Mirror, Mirror on the wall
    I am my mother after all!"


    In my pre-retirement days as a professor ...
  • Book Jacket: A Man Called Ove
    A Man Called Ove
    by Fredrik Backman
    Reading A Man Called Ove was like having Christmas arrive early. Set in Sweden, this debut novel is ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Tomlinson Hill
by Chris Tomlinson

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.