Strangers at the Feast

Strangers at the Feast

A Novel

Book - 2010
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"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."--p. [2] of jacket.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2010
Characteristics: 334 p. ; 24 cm
Edition: 1st Scribner hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781439166987 (pbk. : alk. paper)
9781439166956 (hardcover : alk. paper)


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Dec 26, 2017

Set during the real estate collapse in late 2007, this novel explores its impact on two families -- the suburban Olsons and the inner city family of Kijo Jackson in Connecticut. As a disastrous Thanksgiving unfolds, both families' histories are revealed until they collide in a fatal crime on Thanksgiving night. Vanderbes explores an unraveling American dream for a taciturn Vietnam vet, his stay-at-home wife, their real estate mogul son whose empire is collapsing, and their academic daughter who brought an orphan home from India. Running parallel to the Olson story is the Jackson family whose proud matriarch cleaned up her inner city neighborhood only to have it taken by eminent domain to finance a high-rise business tower. As the novel races to its conclusion, it has a lot to say about social class, money, and the American dream.

Sep 18, 2010

So disappointing because this book started out so beautifully. I like the author's writing style but for the second half of the book it felt as if she was filling in the blanks, not giving us insight into the characters but just coloring in the spaces.


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