Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy has been our June/July book pick for Cook the Books Club, as well as my first hosting experience there. I was pretty sure I had read this novel sometime in the past, but to be honest, once I got (re-)? reading it, the story was absolutely new to me. Maeve Binchy was the starting point however. Knowing that I wanted us at Cook the Books Club to feature one of her wonderful novels, I selected this one for the culinary connection. And it does indeed contain lots of foodie inspirations
The book concerns a pair of friends from cooking school who have the dream of opening their own catering business. An engrossing story, covering the process of getting Scarlet Feather (named for the duo - Tom Feather and Cathy Scarlet) the perfect premises, funded and established, including the connections and interesting personalities of all the various relatives, friends and, unknown to them, enemies, with lots of humor and understanding.
Binchy is well known for her delightful and humorous depiction of unique and memorable characters, both good and bad, and this novel has plenty of them. I especially loved the funny, precocious, abandoned twins who come to stay and end up living with Cathy and her family. Tom and Cathy face almost insurmountable odds both in their personal lives as well as with their business. But, are a fictional illustration of what can be overcome and be the impetus for growth in life.
Among many treats mentioned in the book was Salmon en Croute, which called to mind some wonderful meals we enjoyed in Ireland featuring salmon. A fish which also brings to mind an old Irish legend about the "Salmon of Knowledge." Perhaps eating salmon makes you wiser?