Tags Culture. Add your opinion Share. Your email address will not be published. Strolling through this neighbourhood is a deep dive into the traditional life of Split. Here in Veli Varos the fishermen, […].
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If you hailed from Tenerife, Guachinche Casa Jeronimo would be the place you went to enjoy food like mama used […]. Recent Popular. Add your opinion. View all 10 comments. But I can say that The Feast was a thoroughly engrossing read revolving around a little hotel set up on a cliff, the disfunctional family who ran it aand their horrid mix of guests. From the gossipy cook to the half-mad with worry young lady and her father as well as the master of the house who never does anything of use to the children running wild about the place something is bound to happen.
And a feast may just decided who that something is going to happen to. I really didn't think I'd end up enjoying this so much, I though it would be a dry character study. But it is not dry, and it beautifully captures the scenes, the cliff with the thrashing waves, the maddening girl who orchestrats the children and poor Nancy, the only character seemingly with her head screwed on right. Completely recommend. G rating there is mention of mistresses, or more accurately a lady with her lover.
Nothing shown to reader. View all 6 comments. Shelves: favorites , another-look-book. Full review at Another look book I was really, really impressed with Lucy Carmichael. I ordered my own copy; I added it to my "favorites" list. And then I read The Feast. And it's the best book I've ever read. Yes, I know that's a big statement! Margaret Kennedy is quickly becoming my all-time favorite author. The way she put together The Feast, I'm convinced she was a first-rate literary genius. I see an obsession in the making View all 5 comments. Jul 11, Jane rated it it was amazing. But, above all of that, I would describe it as very readable novel.
The setting is a cliff-top hotel on the north coast of Cornwall, not long after the war. It is a hotel that will be destroyed when the edge of the cliff crumbles. I knew all of this because two clergymen, meeting for their annual holiday, told me so in the prologue. And so this is the story of the last seven days of the hotel at Pendizack Point.
They do have a housekeeper, an impoverished gentlewoman, but Miss Ellis is a terrible snob, a vicious gossip and very selective about what she will and will not do. But they also have Nanciblel, who comes in daily from the village, and is a lovely girl, a real treasure. Lady Gifford had sent very detailed instructions before she arrived, with her husband and her four children in tow. She was in poor health, the kind of poor health that required comfort, fine food, attention, and having everything her own way.
Mrs Cove had no time for such things. She had lived through the blitz, she had kept her three children by her side, and now she was going to give them a good holiday. She presented herself as a paragon, but she was quite the opposite, and before the week was over she would reveal her true colours. And then there was a quiet couple who had survived a terrible tragedy; a militant clergyman and his downtrodden daughter; and a hack novelist, accompanied by her very sociable secretary.
Margaret Kennedy had a wonderful talent for presenting characters simply, clearly, objectively, just showing them and leaving you to draw your own conclusions. She does that perfectly here, slowly revealing details and true natures, and her style and the ideas she is exploring in this book work together beautifully. I loved the way that Lady Gifford and Mrs Cove were both revealed as monsters. So much happened in in those seven days: two romances develop, a theft is uncovered, two daughters defy a parent for the first time, a dramatic intervention in at mass in the village church, the ground shifts in more than one marriage, a secret society recruits new members … Margaret Kennedy understood the time, the place, and the people, and she handled everything — from the big dramatic scenes to the small but significant moments — with aplomb.
Everything was significant, everything worked together beautifully, and I found much to appreciate. Most of all, I was caught up with the characters; loving some, infuriated by others, wishing and hoping for so many things. On the seventh day … there was a feast! The Cove children had dreamed of a feast, and some of the adults, who had seen how good they were and how dreadful their mother was took it upon themselves to organise one. It would be the grandest beach party you could imagine.
There would be food, drink, balloons, fancy dress, and the Coves were so lovely that they invited absolutely everybody. Though, of course, not everybody came. They were having a lovely, lovely time. And then the cliff crumbled. There were fatalities and there would be survivors. But that was the end … View all 3 comments.
May 10, Sharon Barrow Wilfong rated it really liked it. Two Anglican Priests get together once a year to visit, play chess and otherwise enjoy each other's company. This year it is not to be. Father Bott must write a funeral oration. Father Seddon does not understand why this particular funeral should intrude upon their annual visit. Father Bott sits down with his old friend and explains the peculiarity of this funeral.
A once wealthy family owns a mansion at the foot of some cliffs, near the sea. It is and the Second World War has put many famil Two Anglican Priests get together once a year to visit, play chess and otherwise enjoy each other's company. It is and the Second World War has put many families in dire straits. The Siddal family has since had to convert their home into a guest house for tourists. The war has also left something else: mines drifting along sea currents.
One finds its way into a cave under the cliffs near the Siddal mansion. Fissures have been detected and inspected by government officials. A letter has been sent out to Mr. Siddal but no response has been received. It has not been received because none has been sent. The warning letter was never read. Siddal is an indolent man who can't be bothered to read his mail. No warning is ever heeded and finally the cliff comes crashing down, burying the mansion and the people in it. Of the guests and hosts, of which there are twenty-three, some are going to be buried and some are going to survive.
If you have a copy of this book with the dust cover, be sure not to read the inside flap because it obnoxiously gives the ending away. The suspense of wondering the fate of each person is increased as the story develops and we get to know each person. Some are people one really wants to get to know and be friends with, others are odious. I read later that some of them were supposed to represent each of the seven deadly sins.
The Feast | City Hymns
After reading that it was apparent which person embodies which sin and also the others who are plagued by them. All in all, a fairly quick page turner. Kennedy has the ability to paint compelling characters and draw the reader inside their reality. Rather like a soap opera but with complex characters that demand our sympathy. Except for seven who inspire our revulsion.
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View 2 comments. Oct 15, Susan rated it it was amazing Shelves: reviewed. I read this for Margaret Kennedy Week it's a real thing somewhere on the internet! It's an odd book, combining Margaret Kennedy's usual delightfully deft psychological realism - or at least "usual" in the three books of hers I've read so far - with super heavy-handed and straightforward Pilgrim's Progress type symbolism.
The treatment of morality reminds me oddly of Agatha Christie - sharp and dark and uncompromising - and the post-WWII ration-card setting reminds me a lot of Christie as well. But the book offers much more pleasures than a Christie novel, especially in the delightful portrayal of the child characters some strongly reminiscent of Mitford's "Hons and Rebels" , but also in the growth and development the non-evil characters undergo. What might be called the "psyche-healing plot" is a favorite of mine and Kennedy does it beautifully in an unsentimental way.
In this book, she uses boarding house interactions to create that plot, reminding me strongly of one of my favorite books, "Mixed Blessings" by Marian Cockrell not as unsentimental, btw, but also delightful. I definitely look forward to finding and reading more books by Ms. Kennedy, though I doubt any I read in the future will satisfy me as much as this one and "Lucy Carmichael.
Sep 25, Lora added it Shelves: never-finished. I am abandoning this as never finished because I can't stand most of the characters and while I know they end up buried in rubble, that seems to be enough for me at this time. Maybe later? I don't know. It is a novel-length character study of over 20 players. They are all gathered at a family estate turned vacation guest house on the Cornish coast at the base of a cliff.
The evil, the disgusting, the pitiable, the contemptible, the good, the innocent, the admirable, the irritating, the heroic, the strong and the weak are all dissected and revealed with a surgeons expertise. We know at the beginning that a portion of the 23 now lie crushed to death by the fallen cliff. By the end, we know that the dead are not innocent victims of chance.
They were the authors of their fate. As were those who were spared. It is beautifully written with many beautiful descriptions and thought-provoking passages. Describing the sadness and isolation of one of the characters towards the end of the book, Margaret Kennedy writes, This was the second evening she would spend all alone up here, shut in with her troubles, while the light sank away….
Dusk, in this room, had no soft and lingering tints; it was merely the failure, the death of day. And the silence of this room had no peace, no repose. It was sterile and empty. I wish I had read this on Kindle because of its highlighting capabilities and ability to search and find certain parts about certain people. This is one of those books that one can reread again and again and find more meaning and insight each time. The story begins with Father Bott putting off his age old ritual of playing chess when his dear friend Reverend Seddon visited him.
Father Bott explains that he has to prepare for an unexpected Funeral for 7 people, who died when the edge of the cliff collapsed over Pendizack Hotel. The narrative then reverses back to the last 7 days preceding this event. Pendzac kHotel is run by the Siddals — rather Mrs. It becomes apparent right at the very start, that Mrs. Siddal though proclaiming that the conversion of the house to the hotel is an effort to improve the lives of all her three sons, it is actually to put her youngest and favorite son Duff through to Oxford that is her primary concern.
The hotel is run with the help of Nancibel and Ms. Now she lives with her parents at the cottage and works full time at the hotel. The guests occupying the hotel at the time of this event include Canon Wraxton and his daughter, Mr. Paley, Lord and Lady Gifford and the Cove family. They are soon joined by Anna Lechren and her secretary cum chauffer Bruce. Cannon Wraxton is a loud, unhappy quarrelsome man who argues and contests everything and constantly bullies his daughter. Sir Henry Giffordis an aristocratic upright kind gentleman, who takes interest in his work and understands his obligation to the country as a statesman, though he is no longer happy in his marriage.
Lady Gifford is a lazy hypochondriac woman who lives beyond her means and flouts all laws, believing that nothing can touch her because of her position. They have three children, of whom three have been adopted.
The Coves family consists of a mother and three daughters who seem to live on the strictest economy as funds for them seem scarce. Finally this motley crew is joined by Anna Lechene, a famous novelist and her secretary cum driver cum aspiring writer Bruce.
On the 7th day, the poor Cove children who always dreamt of holding a feast, are finally able to organize one, with help of others. There are invitation cards sent out, fancy dresses selected and a whole range of food and wines!
Live In The Feast
Everybody who attends gets into the swing of this grand party and then…the cliff collapses! This is a social drama, a morality tale, a romance and so much more! Kennedy draws complex characters that have their whimsical follies and non-sense as well as a realization of self-worth through daily everyday occurrences and no miraculous fictional turn of events. They are all rich, powerful and intriguing characters that draw you to the tale and keep you glued on. More than anything else, Ms. Kennedy understood both the most noble and the very base instinct of the human heart and her characters brought them forth with force and unerring honesty!
The book was written in the back drop post World War II when England was recovering from the aftermath of the War and the left inclining Labor Party was in power; this change in political — social order is beautifully portrayed through the everyday lives and decisions made by the characters.
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And then there is the language of the novel, such beautiful metaphors — such lovely phrases, Ms. An arm has no integrity if it is amputated. It is nothing unless it is part of a body, with a heart to pump blood through it and a brain to guide it. Does anybody pay enough? Has any man repaid a millionth part all that he has received? Where would you be without us? Did you ever read Helen Keller? Blind, Deaf, Dumb…a soul in a prison, an intellect frozen by solitude…. All alone! Viva Ms.
Kennedy, you were truly marvelous!! Sep 27, Ali rated it it was amazing. I was forced to read this lovely novel quite slowly, I was very, very busy last week and my reading time was frustratingly limited. Sody, North Cornwall. The Revd Bott has a sermon to I was forced to read this lovely novel quite slowly, I was very, very busy last week and my reading time was frustratingly limited. The Revd Bott has a sermon to write — despite having supposed to have taken time off to entertain his friend.
The sermon is for a funeral service — a funeral service with a difference. A dramatic cliff fall recently swallowed up a local hotel, burying everyone inside in a pile of rocks. The dead were unable to be recovered. There were however some survivors, those fortunate enough to be attending a picnic — and the story which follows is the story of the final week of life in that hotel, of all the people who were staying or working at the hotel at the time of the disaster. Who died?
No trace was left of the house, the little platform of land where it had stood, or of anything else that had ever been. There are over twenty characters and their stories are woven together brilliantly, the selfish, bullying, damaged and cruel.