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The Feast (Paperback)

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The Feast By Margaret Kennedy Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

From the first few pages you know a small handful of characters are going to die by the end of the book... and thus begins the clever morality play set during the sunny summer holidays on the coast of England just after WWII. It's not a whodunit, but a brilliant who's-gonna-make-it....and who's not...  Delightfully transporting - like diving into a Merchant Ivory film.  -Emma C.

— From Emma's Picks


"Kennedy is not only a romantic but an anarchist." —Anita Brookner

Summer, 1947. A bizarre catastrophe rocks a seaside village in Cornwall when a cliff tumbles down on the Pendizack Manor Hotel. The hotel is obliterated, and seven guests are killed in the disaster. Everyone else makes a narrow escape. As the survivors tell their stories, the events of the previous week are revealed, and a parade of sins exposed. Gluttony, Lecherousness, Sloth, Pride, Covetousness, Envy and Wrath: all are in residence at Pendizack Manor, and as the day of the disaster creeps closer, it becomes clear that who’s spared and who’s lost might not be as arbitrary as first assumed.

A modern upstairs-downstairs comedy with an old-fashioned morality play tucked away inside, The Feast is sly, kaleidoscopic, and utterly ingenious, a novel that only Margaret Kennedy could have written.

About the Author

Margaret Kennedy (1896–1967) found popular acclaim before the age of thirty with her 1924 novel The Constant Nymph. It sold copies in the millions and spawned no fewer than three screen adaptations. One of the most successful and prolific British novelists of the twentieth century, she also produced literary criticism, plays, screenplays, and a biography of Jane Austen.

Praise For…

"A treat from start to finish."
— Emylia Hall

"Hilarious and perceptive, here’s the perfect seaside holiday read. We’re in Cornwall in 1947, where a landslide has buried a hotel, fatally crushing guests in the rubble . . . Events leading up to the disaster are entertainingly revealed through the diaries, letters, thoughts, and conversations of the inmates of the hotel. And what an intriguing bunch they are: obnoxious children, an arty writer and her toy boy, nutty priest . . . snobs, slobs, and the lovelorn. The nail-biting tension to discover who actually survived the tragedy will keep you on the very edge of your deckchair.”
— Val Hennessy

“Exquisite comedy . . . Tense, touching, human, dire, and funny, The Feast is a feast indeed.”
— Elizabeth Bowen

“In the preface to Margaret Kennedy’s sharply observed novel – originally published in 1950 … we learn that a cliff has collapsed on the family-run Pendizack Manor Hotel in postwar Cornwall, England, entombing guests and owner alike under a heap of giant boulders . . . A deep sense of foreboding thus hangs over the playful, witty story that ensues, involving the friendships and romances of seven characters—each subtly based on one of the seven deadly sins—at the hotel shortly before disaster struck.”
— Emily Donaldson

"So full of pleasure that you could be forgiven for not seeing how clever it is."
— Cathy Rentzenbrink

“The Feast is aptly named . . . It has Miss Kennedy’s narrative skill, her distinction, her grace, above all, her peculiar magic.”
— Guardian

“Entertaining, beautifully written, and profound.”
— Tracy Chevalier

“Here again is a sort of madness, at which [Kennedy] is adept . . . A haunting sort of story.”

Product Details
ISBN: 9781946022509
ISBN-10: 1946022500
Publisher: McNally Editions
Publication Date: June 6th, 2023
Pages: 336
Language: English

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