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The Ghost at the Table by Suzanne Berne
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The Ghost at the Table

by Suzanne Berne

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@ 2 sisters memories w/ their father

Strikingly different since childhood and leading very dissimilar lives now, sisters Frances and Cynthia have nevertheless managed to remain "devoted”so long as they stay on opposite coasts. But with the reappearance of their elderly, long-estranged father they find themselves reunited for a cold, snowy Thanksgiving weekend — a reunion that awakens sleeping tensions and old sorrows.
  christinejoseph | Jan 18, 2017 |
A woman returns to her childhood town at the request of her sister for Thanksgiving. There she finds her elderly father who is waiting for a spot at a nursing home, her nieces who have issues of their own, her brother in law who is growing tired of his wifes latest antics. ( )
  micahmom2002 | Jan 25, 2016 |
A woman returns to her childhood town at the request of her sister for Thanksgiving. There she finds her elderly father who is waiting for a spot at a nursing home, her nieces who have issues of their own, her brother in law who is growing tired of his wifes latest antics. ( )
  micahmom2002 | Jan 25, 2016 |
Cynthia Fiske loathes going home, though in actuality home means her sister's house in Concord and not the house in Hartford where she grew up. So when her sister Frances invites her back east to enjoy Thanksgiving with the family, Cynthia has misgivings; misgivings that only grow when she learns that their estranged father will be there as well. It becomes clear right away that not all is exactly what it seems, but Frances is determined to keep up appearances and Cynthia tries to be accomodating. But as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

This book is more than it appears. I thought when I started this book, that it was going to be easy-going women's fiction about family ties. And most of the way through the book, I continued to believe this. However as the conclusion approached, this novel became something more and all the subtle hints that I hadn't originally noticed as being important began to build upon each other to create a psychological drama about the nature of memory and truth. I am really impressed at how Berne pulled it altogether, making the reader question just who was deceiving themself and in which story the truth was really found. It has kept me thinking long since I turned the last page. Those who think this is just another simple example of women's fiction that can be ignored would be wrong, for it exhibits much of the best qualities found in that genre. ( )
  Mootastic1 | Jan 15, 2016 |
In just a very few days together, Berne presents a family's background and potential future---where is the truth in each person's view of the past, particularly between the two sisters, but also their father. What really happened to their mother and how much has it influenced their entire lives? ( )
  nyiper | Jan 1, 2016 |
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Epigraph
The truth is, a person's memory has no more sense than his conscience and no appreciation whatever of values and proportions.
--Mark Twain
from The Autobiography of Mark Twain
Dedication
FOR MY DARLING DAUGHTERS,
Avery and Louisa
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Going home for Thanksgiving wasn't something I had planned on -- or should I say, I hadn't planned on going to Frances's house in Concord, which over the years I've sometimes referred to as "home", simply because it's back east.
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"Strikingly different since childhood and leading very dissimilar lives now, sisters Frances and Cynthia have nevertheless managed to remain "devoted" - so long as they stay on opposite coasts. But with the reappearance of their elderly, long-estranged father they find themselves reunited for a cold, snowy Thanksgiving week - a reunion that awakens sleeping tensions and old sorrows." "Frances envisions a happy family holiday with her husband and daughters in her lovely old New England farmhouse. Cynthia, a writer of historical fiction, doesn't understand how Frances can ignore the past their father's presence revives, a past that includes suspicions about their mother's death twenty-five years earlier. Adding to her uneasiness is her research for a book on Mark Twain's daughters, whose lives she thinks eerily mirror her own and Frances's." "As Thanksgiving day arrives, with a houseful of guests looking forward to dinner, the sisters continue to struggle with different versions of their shared past, until a warning issued by Cynthia's friend Carita, that "families are toxic" and "blood is bloody," proves prophetically true." "The Ghost at the Table reveals what happens when one person tries to rewrite another's history, and explores the mystery of why families try to stay together even when it may be in their best interests to stay apart."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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