Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Once in a Lifetime by Cathy Kelly

Kenny′s Department Store, with its handsome Edwardian façade, is the jewel in Ardagh town′s crown.
TV presenter Ingrid Fitzgerald has watched her husband David, Kenny′s charismatic owner, pour his heart and soul into the family store, making it the epitome of boutique chic. She′s juggled family life and her glittering career admirably. Now, as their children fly the nest, Ingrid discovers a secret that will shake her world to its very foundations.
Natalie Flynn shares a flat with Ingrid′s daughter, Molly. As love blossoms in her life, motherless Natalie starts to ask questions she has never dared to before. But will they help her make sense of her life and who she really is?
Charlie Fallon is a passionate and motivated Kenny′s employee who adores her husband and son, but her eccentric mother seems bent on wrecking her life. Now it′s time to fight for her own happiness.
Free spirit, Star Bluestone, who handcrafts fabulous tapestries for Kenny′s, is the woman with the knowledge to help them all. Star knows from experience that the important things in life must be nurtured and treasured. She harbours many secrets and understands that the chance for real joy comes only once in a lifetime...
Warm, captivating storytelling from the heart - treat yourself to some Cathy Kelly time.
(Synopsis from

I enjoyed reading this book-it was a slice of life in the Irish village of Ardagh. The stories of several women were woven together in a very satisfying book. Ingrid is a woman who seems to have it all, only to see her life unravel in front of her.  She has to take difficult steps to get back some semblance of normal in her life. Star is a woman who has lived life as a free spirit but paid the price in isolation, scorn, and loss due to that very lifestyle. She has worked long and hard to have balance in her life. Charlie is the daughter of a semi-famous woman's rights activist. Her mother sees no value in Charlie- only in Charlie's older sister. Charlie has a loving and supportive husband but is that really enough?

Like many works by Irish fiction writers, this book has so many aspects it is hard to keep up sometimes. The anchor is Kenny's Department store and to some  extent the owner, David. 
His interaction with many of the women in  the book drives the plot along for most of the book.
The interactions of the women with each other,known or unknown, adds to the enjoyment. All of the characters were realistic and easy to identify with on some level.  I look forward to reading other books by this author.

Library note:  RPL owns this book. It is shelved in  Adult Fiction under KEL. We have one other book by this author and several others are available for request in the Bibliomation system.

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