I randomly came across some Renaissance music. The instruments are recorder and lute. The piece is by Spanish composer Diego Ortiz (1510-1579).
The Feast by Margaret Kennedy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Two Anglican Priests get together once a year to visit, play chess and otherwise enjoy each other's company. This year it is not to be. Father Bott must write a funeral oration. Father Seddon does not understand why this particular funeral should intrude upon their annual visit. Father Bott sits down with his old friend and explains the peculiarity of this funeral.
A once wealthy family owns a mansion at the foot of some cliffs, near the sea. It is 1947 and the Second World War has put many families in dire straits. The Siddal family has since had to convert their home into a guest house for tourists.
The war has also left something else: mines drifting along sea currents. One finds its way into a cave under the cliffs near the Siddal mansion. Fissures have been detected and inspected by government officials. A letter has been sent out to Mr. Siddal but no response has been received.
It has not been received because none has been sent. The warning letter was never read. Mr. Siddal is an indolent man who can't be bothered to read his mail.
No warning is ever heeded and finally the cliff comes crashing down, burying the mansion and the people in it.
Of the guests and hosts, of which there are twenty-three, some are going to be buried and some are going to survive. If you have a copy of this book with the dust cover, be sure not to read the inside flap because it obnoxiously gives the ending away.
The suspense of wondering the fate of each person is increased as the story develops and we get to know each person. Some are people one really wants to get to know and be friends with, others are odious. I read later that some of them were supposed to represent each of the seven deadly sins. After reading that it was apparent which person embodies which sin and also the others who are plagued by them.
All in all, a fairly quick page turner. Kennedy has the ability to paint compelling characters and draw the reader inside their reality. Rather like a soap opera but with complex characters that demand our sympathy.
Except for seven who inspire our revulsion.
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