Feast Days by Ian MacKenzie

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...a genre all its own, one I happen to devour with relish...Ian MacKenzie’s second novel arrives as a worthy addition to that list. “Feast Days” is told from the point of view of the bored American wife of an investment banker newly arrived in São Paulo.
-NY Times

Synopsis

A New York Times Editors' Pick

Devastating, funny and wise, it's among the best novels I know about the fate of American innocence abroad."--Garth Greenwell

"One of the most memorable narrative voices in recent fiction."--Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Intelligent and deeply felt, Feast Days follows a young wife who relocates with her financier husband to São Paulo--a South American megacity that impresses and unsettles, conceals and erupts. Here in her new home, she reckons with the twenty-first century as she encounters crime, protests, refugees gentrification, and the collision of art and commerce, while confronting the crisis slowly building inside her own marriage.

In stylish prose and with piercing wit, Ian MacKenzie tells the story of Emma, a young woman who has moved from New York to Brazil just as massive demonstrations against the government are breaking out across the country amid growing economic inequality. Emma has come to Brazil for her husband's career, with no job prospects of her own, a weak grasp of the language, and a deep ambivalence about having a child. Her early days in Sao Paulo are listless but privileged; she dines at high-end restaurants, tutors wealthy Brazilians in English, and observes the city she now calls home.

But when Emma volunteers at a local church to assist refugees and grows more deeply connected to the people she meets in the course of her days, she finds herself unable to resist the tug of Sao Paulo's political and social unrest.

As the country moves seemingly closer to a breaking point, so does Emma's marriage, as she and her husband can no longer ignore the silent, tectonic shifts beneath the surface of their relationship.

Feast Days is a sharply observed story of expatriate life, as well as a meditation on the hidden costs of modern living and how easily our belief systems can collapse around us.
 

About Ian MacKenzie

See more books from this Author
Ian MacKenzie graduated from Harvard in 2004. City of Strangers is his first novel.She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
 
Published March 13, 2018 by Little, Brown and Company. 240 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Travel. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Feast Days
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Andrew Ervin on May 09 2018

...a genre all its own, one I happen to devour with relish...Ian MacKenzie’s second novel arrives as a worthy addition to that list. “Feast Days” is told from the point of view of the bored American wife of an investment banker newly arrived in São Paulo.

Read Full Review of Feast Days | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Daisy Johnson on Aug 16 2018

There is also a delight in words that is wonderful to read, a delicious speed to the prose. Feast Days is not a thriller, but reads a little like one, moving swiftly from one kind of experience to the next with brutal, dazzling effect.

Read Full Review of Feast Days | See more reviews from Guardian

Reader Rating for Feast Days
60%

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