Scarlet Feather is the featured book at Cook the Books

scarletFeatherMaeve Binchy was a wonderful storyteller.  She could weave a plot with so many characters, all their lives intersecting with one another and yet, you wouldn’t be confused about what was going on in their lives. It was a sad day when she died.  Ireland lost a treasure.

I have read every single book Binchy has published. Scarlet Feather wasn’t my favorite of her books but I  did like the story line and the characters.  Well, most of the characters.

Cathy’s husband was certainly not a likable guy. You wondered how that marriage could work out as Neil never put Cathy first.

Now, Cathy and Tom have a natural friendship and great chemistry. From the beginning I was wondering why they weren’t a couple instead of Cathy being married to Neil and Tom living with Marcella. They support each other, work hard to make their business a success and share love and friendship with many friends. If you read Tara Road (another fat book I loved by Binchy) you’ll remember some of those characters – they have parts in this book as well.

I think one thing I love about this book (and most of her other books) is the portrayal of the average person. Who hasn’t had frustrations with their parents or disagreements with a mother-in-law (don’t get me started). It’s not a detective story or a thriller where sensational things happen. It’s a tale you can immerse yourself in as you can see some of those things happening to you. It’s everyday life.

The book is summarized on the Cook the Books site so I won’t go into details about that. Plus I won’t give spoilers.

So much food is mentioned in this book but that’s to be expected since our main characters own a catering company. We have vegetables and lamb bone for soup, Wicklow Lamb, Irish Salmon, loads of lobster and mussels, rich Chocolate Cake, fruit pavlova, vegetarian goulash and I could go on and on.

My representative dish is going to be a Landlocked Paella. Not your traditional seafood Paella because we have overloaded on salmon lately. Needed a break from the sea.


For the recipe and my I Heart Cooking linkup please visit my food blog, Squirrel Head Manor.


It’s been fun revisiting this book. This novel is the selection at Cook the Books, hosted this by Claudia this time. Thanks to Claudia who writes at Honey from the Rock for choosing a Binchy novel.

There is still time to hook up if you want to participate. The info may be found HERE.


Also linking up with Joy’s British Isles Friday and Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking Series.


31 thoughts on “Scarlet Feather is the featured book at Cook the Books

  1. I haven’t read Binchey yet but I really want too. I have 3 of her books on my shelf – this one, one with winter in the title and another one that I bought at a library sale but it’s been hidden in a pile so long I can’t remember which one it is. Her writing sounds absolutely magic! I need to dig up the winter one and put it in my TBR for when it doesn’t feel like an oven outside!


    • You will be instantly transported to Ireland, Katherine. Let me know which books you like, I have read them all but some are more favored than others.


  2. That must be a really good read for food lovers. It’s good to hear about modern Irish food, not just the old stereotypes.

    best… mae at


  3. I haven’t read any Binchey books either — but your food inspiration looks sooooo good. I know what you mean about needing a break from the sea (or whatever). I get on food kicks too and then suddenly need to step away.


    • BFR I have actually ruined our taste for something because we love it so much, we had it too much. There was an egg and spinach cream cheese dish we overdid. Can’t abide it now,


  4. I can’t wait to see what everyone posts up. There will be a wide array of food, I’m sure. Great looking paella, Tina! Wonderful synopsis of the book, too. I was beginning to wonder with the introduction of yet another character, but I never go confused as to whom belonged to whom or what was the connection.


    • I think the on,y book wasn’t crazy about was Minding Frankie. It wasn’t bad, just didn’t pull me in like her others. Yes, I am looking forward to the roundup at Cook the Books!


  5. We can’t get much more landlocked than Missouri (although fried catfish from the Mississippi is a taste that’s not too difficult to acquire). This might be the paella for me!


  6. Too many characters can be tricky! Always nice when an author can pull it off. I haven’t read anything by her, but I know I should! As I should make paella. My rice eating family would probably love it (though they’d be happier with chicken than seafood, too).


  7. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday – Books with Color in the Titles | Novel Meals

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