Publisher's Summary. On Thanksgiving Day 2007, as the country teeters on the brink of a recession, three generations of the Olson family gather. Eleanor and Gavin worry about their daughter, a single academic, and her newly adopted Indian child, and about their son, who has been caught in the imploding real-estate bubble. While the Olsons navigate the tensions and secrets that mark their relationships, seventeen-year-old Kijo Jackson and his best friend Spider set out from the nearby housing projects on a mysterious job. A series of tragic events bring these two worlds ever closer, exposing the dangerously thin line between suburban privilege and urban poverty, and culminating in a crime that will change everyone's life.
In her gripping new book, Jennifer Vanderbes masterfully lays bare the fraught lives of this complex cast of characters and the lengths to which they will go to protect their families. Strangers at the Feast is at once a heartbreaking portrait of a family struggling to find happiness and an exploration of the hidden costs of the American dream.
Published to international acclaim, Jennifer Vanderbes's first book, Easter Island, was hailed as "one of those rare novels that appeals equally to heart, mind, and soul," by the San Francisco Chronicle. In her second novel, this powerful writer reaches new heights of storytelling. This page-turner wrestles with the most important issues of our time—race, class, and above all else, family. Strangers at the Feast will leave readers haunted and deeply affected.
Review. Have you ever read a review and knew that you must read the book NOW? Recently, this very thing happened to me after reading Bermudaonion’s review of Strangers at the Feast by Jennifer Vanderbes. Boy am I glad I did!
The novel begins on Thanksgiving Day 2007 with the extended Olson family gathering together to celebrate the day. Ginny Olson, a thirty something single professor and daughter of Gavin, an aging Vietnam Vet and Eleanor a suburban housewife, is the host of the dinner. Ginny has never cooked a big meal before, but wants to celebrate her new home and newly adopted mute, seven year old Indian daughter. Rounding out the guest list are Ginny’s brother Doug along with his wife Denise and their three children. Doug is a real estate mogul who is on the brink of bankruptcy due to the real estate bubble burst. On a parallel storyline track are Kijo and Spider, troubled urban teens with a grudge against one Olson family member. By the novel’s end all plotlines have converged in an astonishing and unexpected way.
Strangers at the Feast is a hard to characterize novel – part thriller/suspense, part domestic drama, part socio-political commentary and part satire. Vanderbes, a graduate of the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop, does it all! For instance, when writing about Ginny’s academia article, “The Emasculation of the American Warrior,” Vanderbes weaves an actual article (or at least several pages of it) into the story. Still at other points she includes a thoughtful legal analysis of “eminent domain” and a play by play account of the Green Bay Packers 2007 Thanksgiving Day game.
I'm a reader/commuter in the DC Metro Area. My daily commute to work provides me with ample time to do what I love most: read! Whether its chick lit, literature, memoirs or other non fiction you can always find me with a book.
Review requests may be sent to dcmetroreader(at)gmail(dot)com.
This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. This blog does not accept any form of cash advertising, sponsorship, or paid topic insertions. However, we will and do accept and keep free products, services, travel, event tickets, and other forms of compensation from companies and organizations.
The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All advertising is in the form of advertisements generated by a third party ad network. Those advertisements will be identified as paid advertisements.
The owner(s) of this blog is not compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owners. If we claim or appear to be experts on a certain topic or product or service area, we will only endorse products or services that we believe, based on our expertise, are worthy of such endorsement. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.
This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.
To get your own policy, go to http://www.disclosurepolicy.org