Most helpful positive review
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2009
At the beginning of her authorship, Cathy Kelly's books were categorized as chick-lit, and although I have never quite agreed since I have always thought Kelly has her own unique style, her two latest books have clearly signalized a change.
With "Once in a lifetime" Cathy Kelly has taken the step from youngish, fun and bubbly to maturity and wisdom. I have always found that the Irish, in all kinds of art, have a special kind of magic, partly based on centuries of rich tradition, partly simply a trait in the Irish themselves. Whatever, it's there and it's special. And Cathy Kelly has got it in buckets.
In this book her storytelling is reaching deep into people's souls and far under the surface of life.
"Once in a Lifetime" is the story about TV presentator Ingrid, her husband David, owner of old distinguished department store Kenny's, and their two children Molly and Ethan. It's about Star Bluestone, the latest of the Bluestone women who for centuries have possessed magic abilities of various kinds. Star is perhaps the most fascinating character in the book. Living alone in the beautiful Bluestone cottage, surrounded by her dogs, orchids, interesting collections from her various travels and not the least her production of the beautiful embroidered Bluestone tapestries.There is Charlie, working at Kenny's cosmetic department and her family - and Natalie, searching desperately for knowledge about her long dead birth mother. And many, many more.
Over each chapter in the book there is a headline, a simple word of wisdom. Also, scattered about in the book are thoughtful advice and contemplations, for instance Charlie's written notes, helping her to cope and sort out her difficult relationships with her mother and sister, and helping the readers in the prosess.
My copy of the book is full of underlinings and marks. The book has not yet found its way to the bookshelf but remains lying on my night table as I need to have it close by for reference and guidance.
Is "Once in a Lifetime" a pageturner? To me, a pageturner AND a page-returner, since as much as I wanted to rush for answers, I was forced to stop on the way to ponder and think. There are so many flowers along this road which are impossible to ignore. One needs to stop and bend down to further search and admire.
Dare I say that with this book Cathy Kelly has found herself a place among the Irish classics? I think so. Old Irish myths wisely spun into modern life. The wonder of nature, love and life. And Kelly's all present trademarks, humour and warmth.
An important book by a great author, who has finally found her place.