Dear Readers,

I now consider this blog to be my Juvenelia. Have fun perusing the archives, and find me at my new haunt, here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Scarlet Feather

So we all know that I'm a Maeve Binchy fan--in fact my post-snobbery discovery of her warm-Irish-sconey/cup-of-Barry's tea-on-a-rainy-day goodness is like, the raison d'etre for this blog.

Scarlet Feather is part of an interconnected group of Binchy;s Dublin books. By this I mean that all the characters in this novel, Tara Road, and Quentins all work in the food industry in Dublin and pop in and out of each others' stories and pages--which is super fun for the avid Binchy reader. As in its companion novels, food in Scarlet Feather is only used to represent all the things Binchy values in life: comfort, honesty, hard work and perseverance and taking care of other human beings, providing nourishment of the soul, body, spirit etc etc. The Dublin books are by far her best because she knows the city, its rhythms and changes, the types of women and men who walk its streets, so intimately.

This book took me about 30 hours of nearly straight reading. It was that absorbing and lovely.
It's about Cathy Scarlet and Tom Feather, two youngish Dublin chefs-in-training who dream of starting their own catering business. They are both in relationships that hit troubled spots over the course of the first year of Scarlet Feather, (the newly-formed company, not the novel) and as always, Binchy introduces a cast of supporting characters including a strange pair of neglected wealthy twin-children, a loveable older man who's hopelessley addicted to the race track, an "independent woman" who has given up some of her dignity in exchange for a lavish lifestyle, and more. Of course, they all help each other cope with various crises, there are a few mysteries solved, and some sad endings sow the seed for new beginnings :)

Binchy understands love, ambition, loyalty, and the unintentional hurt well-meaning people causeeach other every day because they're focused on their own struggle for survival. But she also gets what it means to heal and move on.

I couldn't adore her writing more.

No comments:

Post a Comment