The Ghost At The Table
The beginning of the book was pretty slow, ( 1st 130 pages) but set the stage for a more interesting end with a few interesting family drama's predicated un very different views of the family "history" they experienced.
Everyone seems to have their own view of past reality - what a surprise -- my favorite line of tr...more
A story that centers around the two remaining sisters of a family that started with three. With a less than wonderful childhood, these girls lost their mom early on and with that they lost their father to another woman. A sister passing...more
It's about a writer living in San Francisco who goes home to the East Coast for Thanksgiving with her family. Her ailing father whom she hasn’t spoken to in years is there, and so is her sister who apparently wants them to have the picture-perfect family and picture-perfect Thanksgiving. The story is about their dysfunction...more
Suzanne Berne's A Crime in the Neighborhood (1997), which won Great Britain's Orange Prize, dealt with a murder, family desertion, and the transformative power of memory. Berne similarly mines sisterly tensions and the ambiguity of memory in Ghost at the Table; comparisons naturally arise to Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections. The scene that occupies the center of this dark novel flashes back to an invalid mother and her possible poisoning. Parallels between Cynthia's family and that of her newe...more
P.S. No swearing or sex!
The Fiske family is gathered at the exquisitely restored New England home of the second of three sisters. The family table groans with the weight of guilt and blame in this taut, psychological drama of a familys unraveling.
I didn’t really like this book. It took a while to get through. One that you think will get better as the time goes on. But, it doesn’t get any better and it doesn’t have a happy ending. So, it is frustrating to think you moved through the entire book just...more
I got through this easily enough but was puzzled by the end. The pieces didn't seem to fit, but maybe that was the point. I could identify with the characters, the main character in particular, but by the end the strings were coming ap...more
Here's what annoyed me: Cynthia works f...more
3 / 5
“It was an OK read. It starts out with a lot of promise, but doesn’t deliver. However, the family
dynamics were a good illustration of how we all interpret ‘reality’ differently.”
3 / 5
“Some of the parts were co...more
"You love whom you love love, you fail whom you fail, and almost always we fail the ones we meant to love. Not intentionally, that's just how it happens. We get sick or distracted or frightened and don't listen, or listen to the wrong things. Time passes, we lose t...more
I guess what I was really hoping for was a meeting of the minds with an opening of each sister's eyes to the view seen by her sibling. Perhaps I wanted a more happy ending.
All-in-all, it was a fairly good read although not compelling and not neatly summed up. Kind of like life.
If you haven't read Berne's foirst, do - A Crime in the Neighbourhood, winner of the Orange Prize 1999.