The Ghost at the Table

The Ghost at the Table

by Suzanne Berne


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Strikingly different since childhood and leading dissimilar lives now, sisters Frances and Cynthia have managed to remain "devoted"—as long as they stay on opposite coasts. When Frances arranges to host Thanksgiving at her idyllic New England farmhouse, she envisions a happy family reunion, one that will include the sisters' long-estranged father. Cynthia, however, 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.

As Thanksgiving Day arrives, with a houseful of guests looking forward to dinner, the sisters continue to struggle with different versions of a shared past, their conflict escalating to a dramatic, suspenseful climax.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781565123342
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date: 10/20/2006
Series: A Shannon Ravenel Book Series
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Suzanne Berne is the author of three novels, the first of which, A Crime in the Neighborhood, won great Britain’s Orange Prize. Her most recent novel is The Ghost at the Table. She lives with her family near Boston and teaches at Boston College.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Suzanne Berne's The Ghost at the Table is a thriller in the tradition of Jane Eyre, where the portrait of human emotion is as dramatic as the shocking events of the story. With the novel's first line and its reluctant admission - 'Going home for Thanksgiving wasn't something I had planned on' — Berne takes a first sure step into territory familiar to readers of mystery, the place where people are led forward without necessarily wanting or intending to be, and where they will do, no doubt, things they will wish they hadn't." —Carrie Brown, author of Rose's Garden and Lamb in Love

"Suzanne Berne has written a novel as nuanced and illuminating as it is gripping. Think of a book inside a book inside a book, and, at the heart of them all, the complex lies and truths we tell our loved ones and ourselves. The Ghost at the Table is a searing, beautiful,important novel."
—Elizabeth, Graver author of Awake and Unravelling

Customer Reviews

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Ghost at the Table 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
SignoraEdie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've read Berne's other novels and was captivated by her plot and writing. This one disappointed me.
Minne2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the most boring books I 've read in a long time. The story moves very slowly so I just sped through the last 50 pages.
omphalos02 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well written but seems to be missing some cohesive and conclusive elements. The story involves the Thanksgiving "reunion" of two sisters and their father, so the timing was good for this read.
LeHack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cynthia travels East to her sister, Frances', home in Concord, MA for Thanksgiving. Their father, recently divorced from his 2nd wife, has just had a stroke. Frances picks him up at his home on the Cape to take him to a nursing home (what she tells Cynthia), but the home has no room. Family dynamics, holidays and elder care! Good story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Rarely, do I read reviews for books before reading them - no need to spoil the fun, but for some reason I did on this one. Depressing was the overall theme for the reviews, so I went in a skeptic and hoping that this book wasn't the downer it was potrayed to be. A story that centers around the two remaining sisters of a family that started with three. With a less than wonderful childhood, these girls lost their mom early on and with that they lost their father to another woman. A sister passing away and distance made this reconnection over Thanksgiving awkward and dramatic. Add in random guests and one of the sister's two daughters, this book was even awkward in the reading. A connection between the book that sister Cynthia is writing about Mark Twain's three daughters and their childhood is interesting as she continues to give details about this book she is writing about the Twain family. It was great to read this book in the week leading up to Thanksgiving, but I am not sure I would have enjoyed it if I had read it at another time of the year.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
EMP More than 1 year ago
I didn't feel any connection between the characters. But, this was actually brilliant, because this is the gist of dysfunctional familes. The problem is that I also was unable to make a connection with the protagonist - or any other character. Having said all that, the story wasn't disjointed. The author tied everybody together through the use of the protagonist's occupation. There is a ton of "stuff" in the book ideal for analytical discussion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the book all the way through although it was not as good a book as I would have liked. I would not read this book again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've had some issues at home, such as going back, which is what the main character struggles in. Good novel :-)
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read almost nonstop, minus the time I'm taking to write this and the time I'm forced to spend at school :-) and this book is good... it reminds me of my own life actually... take out the dad's sickness and divorce, i think it would've been better, but it's very good!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was disappointing to me. The characters seemed cold and unrealistic. And the ending was a bit foggy to me.