Sunday, December 6, 2009

Once in a Lifetime-Cathy Kelly

Once in a Lifetime
Cathy Kelly
Pocket, Jan 5 2010, $15.00
ISBN: 9781416586258

In Ardagh, Ireland, Star Bluestone is the last of a long line of women who for generations were pagans in an ocean of Christianity. She cares what happens to the females in her town although she conceals her efforts to quietly help them.

TV reporter Ingrid Fitzgerald is horrified as her male counterparts grow old they remain on the air while her female peers are replaced by beautiful blonde bimbos. She knows her time to be placed on the shelf is coming soon. Ingrid loves her husband David Kenny, owner of the town’s heart and soul, Kenny’s Department Store and their children, who have left the nest empty. Charlie Fallon appreciates working in the store’s art gallery where she sells incredible tapestries designed by Star, and loves her husband and son, but has never been able to tell her despotic mother to let her live her own life. Finally there is jewelry designer Natalie, who seeks to learn more about her late biological mom, who begged on her dying bed for everyone to not burden her daughter with her heritage. However, David has been acting strange of late, sort of heartbroken, as rumors spread he is losing the store and perhaps much more, which worries the townsfolk.

This is a whimsical Irish work of contemporary fiction that hooks the audience from the onset as the women of Ardagh struggle with change that seems to be unstoppable. The story line is character driven with each of the females above and others dealing with the transformation that could leave their town without its soul, Kenny’s Department Store. Though the ending may seem too simple to some readers, Cathy Kelly provides a Brigadoon for the Internet age as the small town tries to overcome being the latest victim of takeover disguised as globalization progress.

Harriet Klausner

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