Comments for Once in a Lifetime
Once in a Lifetime: 01/26/14
Once in a Lifetime by Cathy Kelly is about a wife grieving for her husband and learning some uncomfortable secrets he had kept from. It's also about that sisterly bond that all women apparently feel and how Celtic spirituality helps bring Ingrid and her kith and kin together.
The novel is set in Ardagh, Ireland. David has been running Kenny's, the local department store and crown jewel of the High street. His plans to turn the store into a chic boutique are cut short by his sudden death and the revelation that he might not have been as perfect a husband as his TV presenter wife thinks.
Oh if only the book had focused more on the troubles of running the store and less on the grieving and womanly spirituality! The promise of a diverse cast of women was cut short by how obsessively focused they were on David. Men, no matter how well loved and respected they are, are not the be all and end all of women. The idea too, that women turn to other women when the patriarch is not available, also strikes me more as alien and less as affirming or heartwarming.