Review: Feast Days

Written in a brutally honest tone, Feast Days recounts the story of Emma, a young woman who moves with her husband from New York to Brazil, where he works as a financial analyst. While protests rattle the country, Emma tries to find where she fits in, immersing herself in the arts scene, lunching with other expat wives and volunteering to help refugees who are fleeing poverty and war.

Feast Days (Little, Brown and Company, digital galley) is so honest at times it feels like reading a personal diary. As the county boils around her, threatening to break, so does her marriage, and Emma seems adrift and uncertain of her future.

This eloquent novel by Ian MacKenzie offers a look at the social layers of Brazil and expatriate life. It’s a subtle examination of what constitutes a crisis versus what is simply the normal state of affairs.