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Red Letter Day - Colette Caddle
Member Name: kingfisher111
Red Letter Day - Colette Caddle
Date: 07/09/09, updated on 19/08/11 (147 review reads)
Advantages: great read
Recently, I seem to have discovered a whole raft of female writers who produce extremely good fiction - Melissa Hill, Patricia Scanlan, Sheila O'Flanaghan to name but a few. Now I have another name to add to my list - Colette Caddle, the author of Red Letter Day which I have just finished reading and have enjoyed very much!
Red Letter Day tells the story of Celine Moore, a once up and coming clothes designer, but since being widowed at an early age, she has given up her dreams and has been only existing rather than living! At the start of the story, we discover that she has been having an affair with a married man - just for a bit of company really - but the wife has just found out and Celine has become the object of much hostile gossip. As a consequence, she moves to a different part of Dublin and takes up work in a second hands clothes shop and starts living in the flat above the shop. This proves to be a really good move for her, providing her with a new lease of life and maybe even a potential love interest. However, there are many memories and people from her past and through their reappearance the reader is often to be found wondering whether Celine will be able to find true happiness.
This wonderful book is so very readable that, even at just under 500 pages, I read it in just a few days. Colette Caddle has an immensely readable style that keeps you thinking that you'll just read a little bit more. There are quite a few different storylines threaded together and a good many characters, but it's easy to keep track of them all due to the craft of the writing. I guess you might say that in some ways some of the outcomes are pretty predictable but there are one or two twists and surprises along the way.
Celine makes a great main character and you really do get to know her and care about her quite soon. She is quite a vulnerable character at the start of the book which is probably why she had the affair. It is lovely to observe her confidence growing as the story progresses. There are lots of other excellent characters too - Rose, the owner of the shop, Close Seconds, her son Fergus with his rather dodgy past, the dishy landlord Richard, Marina, Celina's close friend who is struggling to bring up her son alone, Celine's father Frank who's only wish is to see his daughter happy. All of these characters seem very real and all are very important to the storyline. There are also a host of other characters including customers to the shop, nosy neighbours and a whole cast of the local operatic society that Celine becomes involved with. I thought all of the characters were developed very well and I particularly thought that all the dialogue was very plausible.
The story moves along at a good lively pace. It is not too busy as to be confusing but also not so steady as to become boring. I just wanted to keep reading because I wanted to find out what would happen to Celine and to find out whether she would be able to leave her past behind her once and for all.
If you enjoy books by authors such as Melissa Hill and Patricia Scanlan, I feel sure that you will enjoy this book too. The paperback is available on Amazon for £5.49, where I am also pleased to discover there are many other novels by Colette Caddle available!
Summary: An excellent book from a good Irish writer