Feast Days is the narrative voice of Emma, the ex-patriot wife of her husband [no name], who has a well paying bank job. This young, upwardly mobile couple leave New York to live in in San Paulo, Brazil. Emma finds herself trying hard to fit in with this rich social group of her husband’s friends. The couple meet his friends at hi-end restaurants and at notable art exhibits which are all located in poverty stricken neighborhoods. After one such evening, she and her husband are attacked by three young men outside the restaurant and it changes her thoughts about the people in San Paulo. She has no job and begins to teach English to some of his coworkers. She starts to take notice of the distress in the city while viewing some of the demonstrations for political and economic inequality from her apartment windows down onto the street outside her building. Emma decides to volunteer at a local church where she can help teach English to immigrants passing through. She begins to feel a real connection to these people and realizes that she and her husband are having issues in their marriage amid the concerns with his job and the chaos of their daily lives.
This novel touches on problems facing people today such as social class and money, marriage and fidelity, gender, race, politics, and inequality of the people. These issues are touched on with wit and humor at times while voiced by the character, who also makes many cutting remarks and observations. It is basically written in episodes of events through Emma’s eyes. It is a story of hope and sadness…for a country and for its people. Feast Days is a novel sharply written by the author, Ian MacKenzie. He gave great details into lives of people living in San Paulo, showing a clear breakdown in their society. This is a promising story of love and life.
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