Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Ghost at the Table by Suzanne Berne

One of my favorite "moods" for novels is WASPY dysfunction and The Ghost at the Table more than fits the bill. It is the story of two sisters, Frances, who lives a Martha Stewart-like life in Concord MA and Cynthia (Cynnie) who is an author in the San Francisco Bay Area. Under duress, Cynnie joins her sister and stroke-victim father for the Thanksgiving holiday and the family secrets begin to creep out despite everyone's best manners. The writing, by the same author who wrote A Crime in the Neighborhood, is so skillful the reader never feels led in any one direction but realizes that the narrator may not be as reliable as she seems. It is a facinating play of family loyalty (and betrayals?) that kept me on the couch for 6 straight hours reading it--even skipping a family gathering myself in order to finish!! -Rhiannon

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