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Scarlet Feather

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  20,947 Ratings  ·  739 Reviews
Set in contemporary Ireland, filled with warmth, wit, and drama, Scarlet Feather is the story of Cathy Scarlet and Tom Feather, their spouses, families, and friends, and the struggling new catering business that transforms their lives in ways big and small.
Paperback, 549 pages
Published March 1st 2002 by Signet (first published 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dec 21, 2014 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
This is easy listening at its best - perfect for accompanying dreary chores and Christmas prep!

The story spans a year in the life of Tom Feather and Cathy Scarlet who are trying to get their catering company off the ground and keep their personal relationships going. We meet their family and friends and all their stories intertwine to entertain you.

There are no twists and turns - this is a family saga / drama and was very enjoyable.

Maeve always manages to create characters that I like and want t
Jun 14, 2010 Helmisade rated it did not like it
This book promises that I will be "laughing and crying with Cathy, Tom and all their friends". Well, I was bored to tears if that counts?

Cathy and Tom, the main characters are clueless, stupid and completely lack the ability to stand up for themselves. You see, they are simple Irish folk who just want to make good food, have a solid marriage and make lots of Irish babies.

There are several other characters as well, but they are equally forgettable and annoying. Especially the coupple of mistreat
Jul 19, 2009 Kellie rated it it was amazing
I was a little nervous at the beginning of this book when more and more characters were added to the story. I was wondering if I should pull out an index card to keep track of them all. Well, Binchy does such a great job telling her story and developing her characters, no need for the index card. I absolutely adored this book. This has now become a rare gem in my library. This was so well told and so engaging, I couldn’t wait to get back to it. Although there are several characters, the main one ...more
Oct 07, 2008 Heather rated it liked it
This is probably the 3rd or 4th book by Maeve Binchy that I've read... I read her books when I was in college and I have really loved her writing... She writes these intricate stories that involve a lot of characters and several story lines... they usually end up intertwined at the end in surprizing ways... Often main characters of one book will end up as supporting characters in another... That being said... I didn't LOVE this book the way I loved the others... The beginning of the book was slo ...more
Mary Pessaran
Nov 02, 2011 Mary Pessaran rated it it was amazing
I have read many Maeve Binchy books, and I have to say I haven't met one I didn't like. I decided to just pick one, because this one had characters that were repeated in other novels. Quentins, Nights of Rain and Stars, Heart and Soul, Evening Class, Minding Frankie. I love seeing the characters reappear, not as primary, but as secondary in other stories. Ms. Binchy's characters are her real strength, because they always feels like friends. And of course, the setting in Ireland (also Italy, Gree ...more
Jun 26, 2009 Drebbles rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2004
Set over a period of one year, Scarlet Feather is a novel featuring Cathy Scarlet and Tom Feather, who open a catering company together. As they deal with the joys and heartbreak of owning a business their relationship with each other changes as does their relationship with the other's around them,notably Cathy's husband, Neil, who is a lawyer who wants to save the world and Tom's beautiful girlfriend, Marcella, who will do just about anything to make it as a model. Also involved are Cathy's par ...more
Book Concierge

Cathy Scarlet and Tom Feather met in culinary school and became fast friends. Now they’ve joined forces to start a catering company – Scarlet Feather. They’re young, energetic, and talented and have made some good connections. They’ve found the prefect premises to make their new business the best in Dublin. They know it will be hard work but they are ready to pursue their dream, and with the support of friends and family they feel sure they will succeed.

Binchy excels at writing ensemble pi
Mar 25, 2012 Georgie rated it it was amazing
I have read three Maeve Binchy books so far - Tara Road, Quentin's, and Scarlet Feather. Scarlet Feather catering company and Tom and Cathy, and Simon and Maud are in 'Quentin's', so I was really excited to read this book and find out how it all began. I was not disappointed at all, in fact this is my favourite Binchy book so far.
Some people might have found all the stories about Tom and Cathy's catering jobs boring, but I really enjoyed reading about them, seeing how their company had successes
May 14, 2008 Marisa rated it really liked it
This is the story of two people who start a catering business called Scarlet Feather and all of the goings on of the people in their life and how that affects their business. I just love this author because she just tells a story about people's lives and their thoughts and I find myself ingulged in their world the whole time I'm reading the book. It also made me think about the situation for children in foster homes and how we sometimes miss what is going on right in front of us because we're of ...more
I am between 3 and 4 stars for this one but rounding up to 4 for sentimentality for Binchy and the foodie presence.

It has been a long time since I dug into a Binchy novel and although I have had a copy of Scarlet Feather sitting on my bookshelves, I had not gotten around to reading it. (In fact, I even forgot I had it and bought a hardback copy for $1 at the thrift store. Whoops!) Scarlet Feather is the story of Cathy Scarlet and Tom Feather and their friends and family. Cathy and Tom met in cu
Jan 27, 2015 Em rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-recommended
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 15, 2013 Ria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A charming tale of Tom Feather and Cathy Scarlet, friends and business partners trying to get their fledgling catering business Scarlet feather off the ground.
Things are not as easy as they at first hoped when they try to juggle their private lives alongside their business lives.
Both have complicated family issues and personal issues to resolve.
Tom and his girlfriend Marcella are struggling to keep their relationship alive as they move in different circles, Tom with his catering and her with her
Jun 15, 2013 Belle rated it it was ok
I've been on a reading hiatus for about two months. To get back in the habit, I've decided to go for another Maeve Binchy book. Agreeing to one of her critics' words, I was looking for something that feels like coming home. And Scarlet Feather did not disappoint in the "feels like home" category.

Scarlet Feather is a story about Cathy Scarlet and Tom Feather starting their own catering business. I liked reading about the challenges they faced and how much effort they all exerted to keep the busin
May 09, 2013 Kimberly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: keepers
There are a couple of writers that I read anything they write, and Maeve Binchy is one of those readers. When you pick up Scarlet Feather, you notice 2 things. 1, that this work is part of a larger story and 2, that it is good enough to stand alone.

Maeve's characters are always FULLY developed and you will occasionally find yourself shaking your head as some of the characters are just like people you may know in your personal life, warts and all. When I read her books, my mind can seriously "se
Aug 04, 2015 Icewineanne rated it it was amazing
Maeve Binchy is such a wonderful storyteller. If you enjoy books by Catherine Cookson, you will love Scarlet Feather, all about relationships. Her books lift your spirits. I read this book years ago but I still wanted to give it a rating on Goodreads. Unfortunately she passed away a few years ago. I met her in person many times and she was such a beautiful person, having the wit and charm that she displayed in her stories. Five Stars Maeve, we'll miss you!
Oct 23, 2008 Carissa rated it it was amazing
this was the first audiobook i ever listened to on my work commute. i loved it so much that i haven't been without an audiobook of some kind pretty much ever since. so now, more than 5 years later, i thought it was worth a re-listen. i still loved it. maybe even more. maeve binchy creates such very likeable characters with such positive attitudes even in the face of terrible crises. and barbara caruso is a masterful narrator. she is the only narrator that i've ever gone out of my way to find boo ...more
Jul 23, 2016 Vicki rated it liked it
I’ve never read this author before so I was excited to read this book.

The book is about Cathy Scarlet and Tom Feather who are starting a catering business in Dublin. Add some relatives, friends, and some minor characters here and there and well, I thought there was just too many characters.

It’s a bit longer than what I prefer, and I do think it could have been a shorter and still had the same impact on the reader, but it did flow along well enough to keep my interest.

The book ended rather abrupt
Sep 02, 2013 Nathalia rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Binchy, Twins, Catering-Service-Employees
Shelves: ireland, 2000s
What I learned from this book:

- Reading Ms. Binchys novel in the order in which they were published might really pay off, because she again mentioned characters that appeared in other novels and that would have been exiting, if I had read the books in which they are the main characters.
- Before you get married, you should really think hard and be honest with yourself, before making stupid promises to the other, that you might not mean to keep.
- Never say never.
- Putting down other peoples dream
Jennifer Tanabe
Apr 16, 2015 Jennifer Tanabe rated it it was amazing
I'm a fan of Maeve Binchy, have been since I first encountered her books in our local library. She writes about Ireland, her home, with great affection, and much of what she writes reminds me of my upbringing in Scotland.

Scarlet Feather is not the first or last of her books that I read, nor is it really her best. But there's something about it that just drew me in and made me want to read it again. I think it's the twins, Simon and Maude, and the way they interact with the other characters to b
Inger Hutton
Apr 09, 2014 Inger Hutton rated it really liked it
I found this book a sad finish since it started so hopefully and Cathy & her husband were so in love. I realize life is like that but I do like Pollyanna endings. Got some good ideas for cooking since the book was about a catering business and I am launching into doing a High Tea for 50 people.
The twin brother and sister were delightful.
Peggy L
Dec 17, 2011 Peggy L rated it it was amazing
This is one of many Maeve Binchy books that I have read. Ms Binchy has a knack for building characters that fit into each other's stories. If you read Quentin's you know exactly what I mean. You find the main caharacter in one book as a minor character in another. Ms Binchy builds what feels like whole communities and makes you want to know each and every character in every book. Scarlet Feather is the story of a couple start a catering business, and before they have found a building for their b ...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Jan 29, 2011 Meg - A Bookish Affair rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, europe, 2011
Cathy Scarlet and Tom Feather have big dreams of getting their catering company, Scarlet Feather, off the ground. They face unexcited in-laws and partners who just don't understand. Will they be able to follow their dreams?

I've said this before but one of the things I like best about Maeve Binchy's books is that they tell really good character stories. Cathy Scarlet is one of my favorite Binchy characters so far. She's a big dreamer but has the ability to actually follow through in order to meet
Jan Stone
Dec 30, 2015 Jan Stone rated it really liked it
Another good read by one of my go-to authors.
I did not think it was possible for me to not love a Maeve Binchy book. I am sorry, but 556 pages was way too long for this extremely slow and boring book. I think she could have cut this down by half and it would have improved things by leaps and bounds.

I went back and read Scarlet Feather because I had previously read about Cathy Scarlet and Tom Feather in subsequent books and was curious about these two.

The book follows Cathy and Tom for a whole year while they try to set up their catering
The Hobbit
Jan 24, 2016 The Hobbit rated it really liked it
This is a story of families, relationships, and dreams. Tom Feather and Cathy Scarlet are focused on having their new catering business succeed and grow. Cathy is married to a young lawyer, Neil Mitchell, who wants to solve every problem in the world. Tom's significant other is gorgeous Marcella Malone who will do anything, give up anything, to be a model. Add Neil's two neglected 9-year-old twin cousins, such brats that no relative wants them after they are abandoned by their parents. It is Cat ...more
Jan 23, 2016 Jennifer rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I have always found Maeve Binchy's books to be very readable and entertaining, but this one fell short in a lot of ways. The plot definitely moved, and I kept reading (and wanting to read--I sped through this in two sittings) because I wanted to know how things worked out in the end, but this book did not impress me. Maeve Binchy has a simple writing style, which I usually appreciate and which typically enhances her books. Her style here, though, was just lacking. There were a few sentences that ...more
Paula Dembeck
Sep 03, 2015 Paula Dembeck rated it liked it
This story takes place in modern Ireland over the period of a year, from one New Year’s Eve to the next.

Cathy Scarlet and Tom Feather have been good friends since they attended cooking school together. Tired of working events from their own small kitchens, these two young talented chefs decide to form a joint company they call Scarlet Feather and house it in a location that is big enough for an office and the storage they require. They find the perfect place and begin the renovations that will m
Nov 21, 2014 Sadaf rated it it was amazing
This book has been rather refreshing for me. It is meant to be an armchair and hot chocolate kind of a book, but I have ironically read most of it during my travels in the last 20 days. Perhaps it was the much needed calm in the moving daily life of being away from home.
When I picked up this book at a book sale, I had not researched the author, and picked this up only because I liked the story synopsis at the back of the book. I myself aspire to do something in the food industry one day, and th
Jul 06, 2014 Michele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is probably my favorite Maeve Binchy book I have read to date. First of all, it is one of her complete novels and not one of the short story compilations that she does. It revolves around Cathy Scarlet & Tom Feather, who own a catering company - Scarlet Feather. As Cathy & Tom struggle to get their newly founded company off the ground and keep it afloat, there is the backdrop of their families and friends.

Cathy is married to Neil, a lawyer from a higher class family who were oppose
Leonie Stanley
Apr 05, 2014 Leonie Stanley rated it liked it
Within minutes from turning the first page to this book, you meet a star-studded cast, from Tom Feather to Cathy Scarlet, from Neil and Marcella, to Maud and Simon!

It took me a week to read this book from cover to cover. I just could not get going on this particular book. I have read a few of Ms. Binchy's books but for some reason I just could not get my teeth into this one. Maybe my teeth are going blunt??

Yes I did say that there were a star-studded cast but whoever did the proofreading did not
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Maeve Binchy was born on 28 May 1940 in Dalkey, County Dublin, Ireland, the eldest child of four. Her parents were very positive and provided her with a happy childhood. Although she described herself as an overweight child, her parents' attitude gave her the confidence to accept herself for who she was.

She studied at University College Dublin and was a teacher for a while. She also loved travelin
More about Maeve Binchy...

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