In the spirit of Chocolat, Lynch's debut novel is a tender love story told through the medium of food, in this case cheese. In County Cork, Ireland, Joseph Corrigan and Joseph Feehan, better known as Corrie and Fee, are the aging manufacturers of world-renowned Coolarney Blue. Their chief worry is a conspicuous lack of successors, and the narrative chronicles the solution to their quest in the unlikely but fated convergence of two characters. Abbey Corrigan, granddaughter of worrywart Corrie, who hasn't seen her in 24 years, sits abandoned on the Pacific Island Ate'ate while her irrigation-obsessed and hypercritical husband gets biblical with the natives. Meanwhile, in Manhattan, Kit Stephens is a burned-out stockbroker and despondent alcoholic, heartbroken by the recent departure of his wife and now fired from his job. In a series of fantastic coincidences, the two end up at the Coolarney factory, a meeting that will forever change their lives and the future of cheese. In an engaging and humorous style, Lynch details the cheesemaking process (sun, rain, a salty sea breeze and of course, grass, are the essential ingredients, along with constant music and a secret mold), and enlivens the narrative with eccentric, loquacious and comical characters, including three ginger cats named Jesus, Mary and All the Saints. The pace of this heartwarming novel is brisk, and the background detail so colorful that the reader will henceforth eat cheese with a new appreciation for its magical properties. Optioned by Working Title Films. (July 2) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kit is a burned-out New York stock trader who's been packed off by his Irish secretary to a far corner of her homeland to dry out and get his head on straight. Abbey, who is estranged from her philandering husband and heartless mother, has fled to her grandfather's Irish dairy farm to help out with his boutique cheese-making business. For the doddering old cheesemakers and their team of pregnant teenage dairymaids, Kit and Abbey prove to be a match made in heaven, guaranteeing the continuation of their beloved business. The two protagonists, who are both smarting from a deep emotional injury, are drawn together by a powerful chemistry neither understands. Is it the cheese? Is it the warmth and comfort of Irish hospitality? Whatever the catalyst, love blooms amid the cast of quirky characters, the gently rolling Irish countryside, the patient and cooperative cows, and a barn full of recalcitrant and perplexing dairy equipment, and spilt milk becomes a metaphor for life's unexpected changes. This funny, touching, and heartwarming debut novel by New Zealand journalist Lynch is being touted as the next Chocolat and has already been optioned for filmdom by the producers of Bridget Jones' Diary. Highly recommended.-Susan Clifford Braun, Aerospace Corp., El Segundo, CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Cheesy US debut about a collection of misfits and losers who come together on a magical dairy farm in Ireland. Lynch must have watched too many reruns of The Quiet Man and Waking Ned Devine for her own good, for she seems to have re-created the same nauseatingly enchanted Ireland that was inhabited by both of those high-fructose films. Basically, everything here revolves around Coolarney House, a dairy farm outside of Cork. Run by two old codgers named Corrie and Fee, Coolarney House produces the finest cheeses in Ireland, possibly the world (their Princess Grace Memorial Blue is particularly famed). One of the secrets of the Coolarney cheeses is that the cows are milked by vegetarians singing Rogers and Hammerstein songs. Naturally, Corrie and Fee have to scout afield for musical, meatless milkmaids and keep them happy once they find them, so Coolarney House soon acquires a reputation among its neighbors as a kind of commune of happy cranks. So much the better for Christopher "Kit" Stephens and Abbey Corrigan, both simultaneously hitting bedrock at opposite ends of the globe. Kit (a recently widowed stockbroker who has taken to the bottle hard since his wife and baby died six months before) has just been fired, while Abbey (a childless relief worker wasting her efforts on a South Seas island where the natives don't want her help) has just found out that her jerk of a husband has been cheating on her. So off to Ireland both go, hoping to put life back together with some fresh air, fresh dairy, honest toil, and more than a bit of blarney. Naturally, neither knows the first thing about farming, but Coolarney House is, as we say, used to all sorts. There's sure to be a pot of gold at the endof this rainbow. Amusing in a Green Acres kind of way, but far too cute for comfort overall. Agent: Ginger Barber/William Morris