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Once In A Lifetime

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  1,581 Ratings  ·  110 Reviews
This publication is not for sale to libraries. Kenny's Department Store is the jewel in the Irish town of Ardagh's crown.
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published March 5th 2009 by HarperCollins (first published January 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,694)
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Tea Jovanović
Apr 06, 2015 Tea Jovanović rated it liked it
I adore her, but this one is not among her best ones... :(
Dec 04, 2009 Chloe rated it it was ok
The town of Ardagh in Ireland loves its local department store, Kenny’s, run by David Kenny. But things to do with the people aren’t all rosy. David’s wife Ingrid, a politics TV Presenter is juggling her family life and work life, but she soon unearths a secret that will shatter her world. Kenny’s employee Natalie is starting to question her father about her long-deceased mother, and finds out some shocking revelations that rock her. Charlie Fallon, a make-up guru at Kenny’s is in despair at her ...more
Louise King
Feb 27, 2014 Louise King rated it did not like it
By golly this book was hard work. I very nearly gave up on it on more than one occasion, however, by the time I was three quarters of the way through I figured I might as well continue. The book conceptually shows promise however it doesn't quite deliver. The book very unsatisfactorily jumps around a multitude of characters and concurrent story lines in such as way that it is difficult (almost impossible) to develop any kind of attachment, interest or empathy for all of the different characters. ...more
Jul 19, 2015 Elke rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Niet mijn ding, komt erg traag op gang en pas op het einde komt er wat leven in de zaak waardoor je dingen gaat snappen. Het laatste deel was goed, de rest een beetje saai.
Mar 03, 2011 Janet rated it really liked it
This has to be one of the most unfortunate titles and cover art I've seen, the picture of a carefree young woman on a swing is misleading, a lesson in "don't judge a book by its cover". It appears to be a romance, or chick-lit, but it's actually a very well written, thoughtful, satisfying work of fiction for women. Yes, there are a few young women in the story, but the majority of the book focuses on middle-aged women, women who are in (or entering) the autumn of their lives and find that it's n ...more
Sarah Sammis
Jan 26, 2014 Sarah Sammis rated it it was ok
Successful woman happily married to successful man must re-examine her life after husband's untimely death. With lots and lots of mundane padding.
Dec 04, 2009 Chloe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The town of Ardagh in Ireland loves its local department store, Kenny’s, run by David Kenny. But things to do with the people aren’t all rosy. David’s wife Ingrid, a politics TV Presenter is juggling her family life and work life, but she soon unearths a secret that will shatter her world. Kenny’s employee Natalie is starting to question her father about her long-deceased mother, and finds out some shocking revelations that rock her. Charlie Fallon, a make-up guru at Kenny’s is in despair at her ...more
May 05, 2015 Mariazita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Mais um livro maravilhoso e doce da autora.
Mais quatro personagens com história sofridas e interligando-se entre si.Vidas com dramas e alegrias, descritos de uma maneira suave pela autora.Os livros de Cathy Kelly transmitem-me serenidade, e este em especial, pois vem carregado com a magia da personagem Star.Por mais difícil e triste que seja os momentos da vida das pessoas que habitam na pequena Ardagh, existe sempre uma lição de vida especial, que nos faz pensar .É um romance realista, do que p
Sandra Ponte
Jan 04, 2015 Sandra Ponte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
O título e a capa são enganadores. Quem é a rapariga a baloiçar? E uma vez na vida o quê? Embora detalhes, são aspectos importantes e podem fazer a diferença.
Esta é a história de três mulheres que se vêm a braços com alguns problemas, cuja solução passa por uma quarta mulher. Assim sendo, acabamos por ter quatro histórias.
A bem da verdade, foi isso o que senti que era: quatro histórias diferentes, pois, se, de alguma forma as quatro mulheres estão interligadas, esta ligação é muito superficial
Dawn Brierley
Apr 22, 2014 Dawn Brierley rated it it was amazing
Before reading this book, I was a 'Cathy Kelly' virgin having read none of her work ever. However, despite the slow start (and rather lengthy opening chapters) by the turn of the last page I was a full convert and scooped up her "The Honey Queen" in my local supermarket for more of Cathy's magical wordage.

I've always been a HUGE chick lit fan, and "Once in a Lifetime" was a grown up version of this which is why I have included this on the blog (and because I simply LOVED it!). Weaving life in a
Kenny 19s Department Store, with its handsome Edwardian facade and meticulously hand-selected goods, is the jewel in the crown of the small Irish town of Ardagh. Star Bluestone sells her beautifully crafted tapestries at Kenny 19s. Made with natural dyes, they embody her earthy spirit and creative vision, but she has a special reason for caring about Kenny 19s that extends far beyond her sales. And for Ingrid Fitzgerald, hotshot political journalist and wife of workaholic David Kenny, the store ...more
Jan 30, 2015 Susan rated it liked it
I must admit the opening chapter did not captivate me. I could not take to Star Bluestone - her name seemed too fanciful, and she came across as an aging hippy. I was also uncertain initially about the period she was living in. And then she disappeared from the storyline for about 150 pages. In the meantime we reverted to familiar Cathy Kelly territory of weaving the lives of different women, and exploring the themes of friendship and mother/daughter relationships. In this instance, they were li ...more
Best Crime Books & More
Nov 03, 2015 Best Crime Books & More rated it really liked it
I have always enjoyed Cathy Kelly books and this one is no different. This story involves Ingrid and David Kenny, David Kenny being the owner of Kennys Department Store. When tragedy strikes for Ingrid, her life is altered forever and as her children fly the nest she discovers a secret that shakes her to the very core. We meet all kinds of weird and wonderful characters in this story including Star Bluestone who has a magical gift along with a link to David Kenny, Natalie who shares a flat with ...more
Aug 26, 2010 Lydia rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book. Very readable, with well-defined realistic characters. Some lovely heart-warming people in here. Cathy Kelly is always a great author, her work can be counted on to be good. Another hit for Kelly. Love this.
Marija Andreeva
Jul 02, 2016 Marija Andreeva rated it it was ok
Shelves: easy-reads
First of all, I will start and say that the book is ok, it really is. And for people who want to relax and to spend some of their free time in reading, it is a fair book. There are some beautiful quotes and the stories of the women are interesting. And in other circumstances I would have probably given it 3.5, or even 4, but then something happened.
I started reading the book and I had a familiar feeling, and after 30 pages I realized that I have read this book before, few years back, but I comp
Sep 15, 2011 Ruth rated it really liked it
"Star Bluestone had talked to bees all her life." This is the opening sentence in the prologue. As I continued reading the prologue I began to wonder if I had chosen a book that I didn't like.
It was set in Ireland, which I like and a good friend from Goodreads had recommended it so I kept reading. I am glad that I did.

David Kenny owns Kenny's Department Store, which is not at all like chain stores. He and his buyers took pride in finding unique and one of a kind items that you just couldn't purc
Leanne Hunt
Dec 11, 2013 Leanne Hunt rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
While the substance of this novel pleased me, I found it a disappointment overall. It wasn't what I was hoping for in terms of a satisfying Irish read. Irish women's fiction generally inspires me with its description of close-knit communities, beautiful landscapes and innovative people, yet this book seemed to gloss over all that in favour of exploring the dynamics between characters.

There is a large cast of characters in the novel. Most of them are connected through the department store owned b
Feb 14, 2012 Anya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Is it just me or do the women (and I quote) "roar" and "shriek" quite a lot in this book? What happened to "talking" and "shouting"?

That put aside, I found "Once in a Lifetime" to be a pleasant novel. Sure, there were a lot of characters to keep track off, and sure they all managed to recover from their "wounds" in surprisingly short time, but somehow I couldn't help but like them.

Though it was rather strange for me to read about characters who are forty and fifty something. I think Cathy Kelly
Sam Still Reading
Apr 04, 2009 Sam Still Reading rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: your nanna
I'm really not sure about this one. I've liked some Cathy Kelly books, but others I've thrown across the room for their simple, childish indulgence. This is the world where bad things happen but there's always a happy ending.

This book touches on Issues (yes, I did capitalise that on purpose)- we read about infidelity, sexual abuse and alcoholism but it's all in rather a light manner. Why skim over so many 'Issues' without tackling them in the face?

Another thing is the sex. We hear about women in
May 05, 2015 Elaine rated it it was ok
The cover and title don't tie into the storyline at all, but I do find that to be a common theme with Cathy Kelly books. Because of that I find it hard to remember which ones I've read and why they were about. It took me almost half of the book to get into the story and in my opinion just started to get good when the flashback chapters appeared. From then on, I wanted to keep reading to find out what would happen. I like that the story lines were wrapped up well and the magic of Star was unusual ...more
Juliana Graham
I didn't really like this book that much - it was readable but didn't leave much of an impression and like many other reviewers on here, I found parts of it rather far fetched. I particularly disliked the 'magical' aspects such as Star being able to get flashes of other people's lives just by touching their hand, or the fact that a character's hair turned white overnight. That doesn't happen! Fair enough, in a fantasy book, a ghost story or any other book with supernatural elements, have unexpla ...more
Carolyn Hill
Apr 06, 2010 Carolyn Hill rated it liked it
I'm always drawn to books from "over the pond" and this Irish women's lit was enjoyable. There were multiple characters and points of view, but they were all tied together by their relationship to the special department store Kenny's. Wasn't sure about a story centered on a department store, but the store was peripheral to the characters. I liked it that several of the main characters were older -- late forties, fifties and sixties -- instead of all about young women's issues like so much of the ...more
Victoria Kator
my favorite part is the ending, it is sweet and heartwarming. i liked that it is told by a few women characters. i was totally stunned by what happens towards the beginning though :) i thought the character of "kitty" was pointless, at least learning about her past. i love cathy kelly's books because they are set in ireland :)
Aug 05, 2013 Michele rated it it was ok
I was a little disappointed in this book. My first Cathy Kelly book was "The Honey Queen" and, after reading that book, I thought the stories about her becoming "the next Maeve Binchy" were correct. This book, Once in a Lifetime, was just an ordinary story about 4 women that happened to take place in Ireland.

The story revolves around a department store named Kenny's: the owner, his wife, his old girlfriend (who is clairvoyant), an employee of the store, and another young woman who doesn't have
Apr 03, 2014 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: just-a-good-read
It was my first Cathy Kelly read and I loved it :) What is it about Irish authors, they write such warm and friendly stories. Have always loved Maeve Binchy (rest in peace dear Maeve) and now I have another fav to add....yay!! I'm from Australia and I really hope to visit the beautiful Ireland one day.
Feb 24, 2010 Jan rated it really liked it
Once In A Lifetime
by Cathy Kelly

Ingrid Fitzgerald is a TV reporter married to David Kenny who runs and owns the family store in Ardagh, Ireland. Kenny's Department store is at the heart of the story. This is a novel about the women of the town. Charlie Fallon works at the store. Star Bluestone, the most interesting character, makes beautiful tapestries and is rumored to be a white witch. She really needs her own book. All these women, and more, have secrets and connections to David. This all com
The story revolves around 3 women.

1. Ingrid who's husband suddenly passes away.

2. Natalie who is looking for love and answers to questions never asked until now.

3. Charlie who has the perfect hubby and son but awful mother and sister.

All three are strong independent woman who are struggling with life and all end up getting help from Star Bluestone. Someone who is very intouched with the world.

I really struggled getting into this book it took me about 2 weeks to finish but I'm glad i pushed throu
Anne Brooke
Jun 01, 2016 Anne Brooke rated it it was ok
Shelves: chick-lit, bad-books
Lots of cliches and flat characters make this a struggle to read. So called white witch Star Bluestone is a real irritant, and the over-sentimentalised ending had me in hysterical laughter! The cover is nice though.
Dec 10, 2013 Ellie rated it it was amazing
Cathy Kelly's novel 'once in a lifetime' is true to it's title- it is a once in a life time novel!

Beautifully written, Kelly tackles the subjects of alcoholism, child abuse and bereavement with heart-breaking sincerity. The book also explores the dynamics of the mother and daughter relationship.

I like Kelly's entanglement of the characters. They are all connected by Star Bluestone ( I wish this lady was real!!) and Kenny's Department Store. I think the book is a masterpiece for women's literatur
Lucy McLaurin
Jun 25, 2016 Lucy McLaurin rated it really liked it
Another of my favourite authors. And yet another I found hard to put down. Every little sit-down involved reading at least one page to learn more her characters and their stories.
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Born in Belfast but raised in Dublin, Cathy initially worked for thirteen years as a newspaper journalist with a national Irish Sunday newspaper, where she worked in news, features, along with spending time as an agony aunt and the paper’s film critic. However, her overwhelming love was always fiction and she published her first international bestseller, Woman To Woman, in 1997. She did not become ...more
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