The Ghost At The Table by Berne
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|Thu, 05-21-2009 - 9:05am|
I finished this one yesterday and enjoyed it very much. If you like stories about sisters/family and delving into the past while trying to function in the present then this would be a book for you!
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. This taut psychological drama by Orange Prize–winner Berne (A Crime in the Neighborhood) unfolds as San Francisco freelance writer Cynthia Fiske acquiesces to her maternal older sister, Frances, and attends the Thanksgiving family reunion Frances is hosting at her perfectly restored Colonial home in Concord, Mass. Cynthia believes her father, now 82, murdered their invalid mother with an overdose of pills when Cynthia was 13, and she has no wish to ever see him again. Within months after their mother died, their father packed Frances and Cynthia off to boarding school and married the much younger Ilse, a graduate student who worked as part-time tutor to Frances. But now he's suffered a stroke. Ilse is divorcing him, and the family is placing him in a home. Tension is high by the time the assorted guests, including Frances's complicated teenage daughters, her mysterious husband and the speech-impaired patriarch, are called to Frances's table, and it doesn't take much to fan the first flares of anger into the inevitable conflagration. Berne takes an inherently dramatic conflict—one sister's intention to obfuscate the hard truths of the past vs. another's determination to drag them under a spotlight —and ratchets up the stakes with astute observation and narrative cunning.