Intelligent and deeply felt, FEAST DAYS follows a young wife who relocates with her financier husband to São Paulo, where she encounters crime, protests, refugees, gentrification, and the collision of art and commerce, while confronting the crisis slowly building inside her own marriage.
Emma is a young woman who has just moved from New York to Brazil. She came 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 São Paulo are listless but privileged; she dines at high-end restaurants, tutors wealthy Brazilians in English, parses the Latin roots of words, and observes the city she now calls home.
As massive demonstrations against the government are breaking out across the country amid growing economic inequality, Emma begins to volunteer at a local church to assist refugees, and grows more deeply connected to the people she meets in the course of her days. Soon she is unable to resist the tug of the country’s political and social unrest, and as the country moves seemingly closer to a breaking point, so does Emma’s marriage, until she and her husband can no longer ignore the silent, tectonic shifts beneath the surface of their relationship.
With profound wisdom and humor, MacKenzie has written 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.