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Scarlet Feather

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  24,661 ratings  ·  915 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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JayeL I enjoyed the descriptions of the day to day life. It is a relief to not be on the edge of my seat and worried about the characters on occasion.
Michelle Edis You will find, if you become a fan as much as I am, that several characters move in and out of her stories. Sometimes they are the stars of the show,…moreYou will find, if you become a fan as much as I am, that several characters move in and out of her stories. Sometimes they are the stars of the show, sometimes they are mentioned as friends of friends etc.

I have read every book she's ever written and at one point, I read them all in the order that they were written. This way, you get glimpses over and over of familiar characters as they live their lives and like a 'real' community, have many touchpoints and intertwining lives.

I really, really, really love her work.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  24,661 ratings  ·  915 reviews

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Dec 15, 2014 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
Jun 14, 2010 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
Aug 21, 2008 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 ...more
Mary Pessaran
Nov 02, 2011 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, ...more
May 09, 2013 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
May 13, 2008 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 ...more
Jun 26, 2009 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 ...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
Nettie Cacossa
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I like big books, and I cannot lie ...more
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book from Page 1 to the last. It couldn't make you feel any cosier or warm your heart any better.
Mar 22, 2012 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 10, 2013 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 21, 2014 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.
Mar 17, 2008 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 ...more
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
A visit in another world, colourful, funny, touching. Can't help getting involved and hoping that the protagonists survive and thrive in the turmoil. Slightly hindered by the numerous point of view/ voice changes. I'll read more of her books. Good escapism.
Mar 02, 2015 rated it did not like it
Nope,nope,nope. I gave this book 86 pages to make me care enough to wade through the mediocre writing. It didn't happen.
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another delightful Binchy. Her characters are rich, real, flawed and yet you can't help but get invested in their stories. How to make annoying kids tolerable, a long-standing betting man the sane voice of the story and the dissolution of a long relationship wistful and still hurt so less, this mastery belongs to Binchy. Once again I marvel at the depth of her understanding of all sorts of human nature, without unnecessary judgement; presenting all facets for the reader to get familiar with ...more
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I found this a little slow and disjointed to get into but by halfway it had started to coalesce and I actually enjoyed it so much I read the second half of the book in a much quicker time (three days, compared to 2 weeks!).
The relationships in this book were more subtle and less predictable than I thought from the beginning of the book, and I liked the fact that not everybody's story was nicely tied up at the end, it leaves you to imagine what may come next instead of spoon feeding it.
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was really predictable and the characters were for the most part ho-hum. I didn't really care for any of them, except sometimes Simon, Maud, and Muttie. Muttie was probably my favorite character actually. A year in the lives of a bunch of people all connected by The Scarlet Feather but not much plot. An ok read for something quiet, but nothing spectacular.
Gemma Best
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Slow to start and sad in places, Maeve Binchy always makes her characters so interesting and real. Enjoyable.
Ramona Lazar
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I forgot that I finished this book. I lovr Maeve Binchy, it was a nice lecture...
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reading Maeve Binchy novels is like taking a vacation. Scarlet Feather is full of rich characters and lovely Irish settings taking the reader from their comfy chair to Dublin. One of Maeve's best.
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
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book, but I did have a few issues with it. This is the story of Scarlet Feather, a catering company run by Cathy Scarlet and Tom Feather. The book follows their stories (Cathy and her attorney husband, Neil; Tom and his want to be model girlfriend, Marcella) and the rest of their families. Cathy married into a really wealthy family with a lot of demons and her parents end up taking care of Simon and Maude, Neil's 10 year old cousins. A lot of family drama goes on in this ...more
Jun 01, 2013 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
Oct 23, 2008 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 ...more
Aug 05, 2013 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
May 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer Tanabe
Mar 23, 2013 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
3.5 stars

Cathy Scarlet and Tom Feather are friends and are trying to start a catering business in Dublin. Cathy’s husband, Neil, has young cousins who show up at his rich parents’ place, needing a place to stay, but they rub his parents the wrong way, so Cathy and Neil end up taking them in. Tom’s wife, Marcella, wants desperately to be a model.

There is plenty going on, as this novel follows their lives for one year. There are many characters, and the perspective goes back and forth amongst
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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