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The Peacock Feast

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4.19  ·  Rating details ·  21 ratings  ·  10 reviews
The Peacock Feast opens on a June day in 1916 when Louis C. Tiffany, the eccentric glass genius, dynamites the breakwater at Laurelton Hall—his fantastical Oyster Bay mansion, with columns capped by brilliant ceramic blossoms and a smokestack hidden in a blue-banded minaret—so as to foil the town from reclaiming the beach for public use. The explosion shakes both the apple ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: February 5th 2019 by Sarah Crichton Books
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KC
Through the entirety of the 20th century to today, this remarkable story follows Prudence, the daughter of Louis C. Tiffany's prized gardener, her estranged brother Randall and his granddaughter, Grace whom Prudence only recently met. With fine detail, Lisa Gornick's novel embodies the true essence of the family portrait through captivating prose, rich in description and testimony. This is a truly sweeping family saga.
Christina Kline
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An explosive moment that shatters generations, a buried trauma, the unspoken weight of history: In this original and incandescently rich novel, two women, strangers to each other, hold pieces of a puzzle they can only construct together. Masterfully weaving fact and fiction to paint the evolution of a family over the sweep of a century, Lisa Gornick plumbs the connections that transform lives in a book that is deeply engrossing and elegantly nuanced.
Sam
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Peacock Feast is a very enjoyable voyage through the last hundred years in the company of Prudence. It is quite sad in places. Prudence doesn't take all the chances at happiness she has, but maybe that is why she lives so long. It reminded me a bit of Amy Human Heart. There is a terrific description of the talented but cruel Mr Tiffany and his beautiful estate. Tiffany is key to a mystery that is only solved towards the end of the book. Four stars.
Andrea
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Didn't feel the love that others did. In a few words--grim, no joy.

2.5 but cannot round up and say it was good. Still, the writing was fine--and in a few instances, some quite good descriptions and observations/social commentary. BUT. Not enough to sustain my interest. Nonetheless, I persevered and plowed through.

The setting:

"Spanning the twentieth century and three continents, The Peacock Feast ricochets from Manhattan to San
...more
Sally Stieglitz
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a lush and intricate imagining of the divergent lives of siblings Prudence and Randall, born the children of Irish immigrant servants on a wealthy NY estate. A hint of family mystery unfolds gently over a century through poignant stories of class, opportunity, dignity, dependence, and moral courage. Their choices are often tinged with regret as well as a sense of inevitability. Gornick's writing is compelling and reflective, holding a mirror from which we cannot and do not want to look a ...more
Mary Kay Zuravleff
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gornick has an unparalleled ability to capture character and class. With this novel, she expands her storytelling to move 101-year-old Prudence and her grandniece Grace through a century of history, from the splendor of a Tiffany mansion to the squalor of a Texas prison. Turns out, what you don't know will hurt you--and your descendants.
Janepollock
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Peacock Feast is extraordinary. The writing is lyrical and beautiful and the storytelling, absorbing. The characters are so well conceived that I got to know each of them, young and old and across generations. I look forward to reading it again and again!
Jill Smolowe
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
All the lyricism and psychological acuity readers know to expect in a novel from Lisa Gornick, wrapped in a riveting tale that traverses continents, spans generations, and plumbs the human heart.
Rach
rated it it was amazing
Nov 09, 2018
Cynthia
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Oct 03, 2018
Ginger Pollard
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book about three generations of a family. It's a work of fiction but it's based on Louis Tiffany of Tiffany Lamps. It isn't so much about Mr. Tiffany's family as it is about the family who worked for him. Each chapter tells about a different generation, but it doesn't put the reader off. It's an interesting story and I highly enjoyed it.
I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley. Thank you, Netgalley!
All opinions are my own.
Alana Celii
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Natalie
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Some authors can create magic with a snippet of history and a few characters based on real life. That is exactly what Lisa Gornick has done with her entrancing novel, THE PEACOCK FEAST. The thread that she pulls from are incidents in the life of Louis Comfort Tiffany. She does not examine his life, but creates characters who are satellites in his orbit and how their lives touched.

The catalyst is the visit of a young woman who visits her aged aunt in NYC and delivers the incredible story of her
...more
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Lisa Gornick has been hailed by NPR as “one of the most perceptive, compassionate writers of fiction in America…immensely talented and brave.” She is the author of 4 novels: TINDERBOX, LOUISA MEETS BEAR, and THE PEACOCK FEAST—all published by Sarah Crichton Books/ Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and Picador; and A PRIVATE SORCERY, published by Algonquin. Her stories and essays have appeared widely, inc ...more