The Ghost at the Table – Suzanne Berne

A Novel (Shannon Ravenel Books)

Suzanne Berne, Orange Prize winner for A Crime in the Neighborhood, takes family dysfunction to new heights in A Ghost at the Table.  The whole book takes place over a Thanksgiving holiday, when Cynthia Fiske begrudgingly goes to visit her sister.  In short, they had a really fucked up childhood and Cynthia is not even close to being over it.  I guess this book was really good in a “exploring the psychological complexities of our individual conceptions of the way things really are” kind of way.  I just thought it was a tad too negative for me and just downright depressing.  Quite frankly it left me a little unsettled.

Let me set the record straight.  I enjoy melancholia.  I don’t mind reading about people who are depressed or repressed or their fucked up lives.  I just like a little bit of yang in my yin if you know what I mean.  Hope doesn’t have to spring eternal but a little dribble is always nice.  Not in this story.  Just a whole lotta sad.

My own little sliver of light is that I am moving on to  The Remains of the Day, a book I have only heard good things about, and that is always, always, a good thing.

Happy St. Patty’s Day, and Happy Birthday dad.

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2 Responses to “The Ghost at the Table – Suzanne Berne”

  1. I got this one via BookMooch recently. Hmm, it does sound like a bit of a downer. I’ll have to see when I’m in the mood for it.

  2. Illiana – So sorry, I feel like I’m always ruining books for you. it was good, well written, page turner…..but very dreary.

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