Monday, September 2, 2013

A Place At The Table by Susan Rebecca White

5 Star

A Place at the Table tells the story of three richly nuanced characters whose paths converge in a chic Manhattan café: Bobby, a gay Southern boy who has been ostracized by his family; Amelia, a wealthy Connecticut woman whose life is upended when a family secret finally comes to light; and Alice, an African-American chef whose heritage is the basis of a famous cookbook but whose past is a mystery to those who know her.

As it sweeps from a freed-slave settlement in 1920s North Carolina to the Manhattan of the deadly AIDs epidemic of the 1980s to today’s wealthy suburbs, A Place at the Table celebrates the healing power of food and the magic of New York as three seekers come together in the understanding that when you embrace the thing that makes you different, you become whole.

Sabrina-Kate - 5 Star

I quite enjoyed A Place at the Table from the captivating stories of the characters, to the rich and full descriptions. The story spans a broad expanse of time during the last century and it was interesting to see how attitudes and perceptions had changed or even in some cases stayed the same.

I was really drawn to Bobby's story, perhaps because it felt true and real. A very honest account of a gay man and how his life was touched by his coming of age during a time when it was not accepted. A time when the "gay cancer" was just starting to come to light. His story was brave and at times was heart-wrenching.

I identified much less with Amelia though her story was also quite powerful. A lot less detail was given so perhaps that accounts for, in part at least, why I did not come to love her like I did Bobby. Perhaps if a little more detail was given, especially about her marital issues, her story would have been more captivating.

I loved how these two people seemed so separate in their lives but were brought together by a simple yet completely complex detail. I truly enjoyed how the author tied everything together in such a absolutely believable way.

A Place at the Table was wonderful, honest and rich with incredible descriptions and characters that I grew to know and love yet there was something, perhaps in the way it actually did end, that just didn't make me love this book as much as I had started to at the beginning. I would definitely recommend it though, if only for Bobby's story, which is worth the read alone.

Thank you to Touchstone  for our review copy. All opinions are our own. 

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