Cathy Kelly has done it again! Her beautifully wrought Once In a Lifetime portrays a group of characters associated in some way with Kenny’s Department Store in Ireland.
At the center are David Kenny and his wife Ingrid Fitzgerald, a TV personality. Their children, their friends, and their past connections all make up the fabric of this lovely tale of interconnected lives.
In the beginning, we meet Star Bluestone, who loved David Kenny long ago, when he was a poet. But he chose a different path. However, throughout the years, Star’s connections with him have continued, without them ever meeting again, through others she knows and through her artistic tapestries that are showcased in the store. On the periphery of all their lives, Star is like a mystical presence that offers comfort and occasional advice.
Something unexpected and tragic threatens to tear at the fabric of all their lives, but how each of the characters deals with this tragedy reveals their strengths and the force of their passions.
What will each of these characters learn from these events, and how will they move on, learning the life lessons presented to them? Again, we see how Star’s presence provides a comforting backdrop to all their lives.
I totally luxuriated in this cozy, comforting read, and long after I turn the last page, I will think about these characters, which is why it definitely earned five stars.