|Published April 2000|
All You Can Eat
Charles Baxter's third novel, The Feast of Love, begins and ends with twenty year-old Chloe. She wasn't my favorite character, (that distinction is a tie between Bradley and Diana) but it's not until Chloe appears that things get good. The beginning of the novel feels a little trite with the whole insomnia driven moonlit walk blah, blah, blah... But, when the story finally started to pull me in (somewhere around chapter five) it was hard to not to be completely engrossed in Baxter's world of longing, heartbreak and passion.
The Feast of Love is told through a series of interwoven vignettes and alternating perspectives. The cast of characters include; Bradley, the nice guy looking for love. Kathryn, Bradley's first wife who leaves him for another woman. Diana, Bradley's second wife and the type of woman nice guys inevitably fall for. David, Diana's married lover. Chloe and her boyfriend Oscar. And finally, Harry and Esther, an older couple (Bradley's neighbor) who didn't interest me much.
Baxter really gets love and disappointment right. He made me long for a time when love was a feast of possibilities and passions. He also reminded me how unoriginal loneliness can be. Other than a few moments when it seemed like the novel was trying too hard to be philosophical and an ending that lasted a few pages too long, The Feast of Love is quite appetizing.
(Film Adaptation) Feast of Love Trailer - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUSMZIgvARM