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The ghost at the table : a novel
Suzanne Berne
Adult Fiction BERNE

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bookwoman_cat said:
1/2* Strikingly different since childhood and leading very dissimilar lives now, sisters Frances and Cynthia have nevertheless managed to remain "devoted" AS 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. 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. I did not bond with these sisters. I was left with unresolved issues and seeming total misperceptions of reality, not only on the part of the sisters, but also by Frances's husband. Who made a pass at whom? How did their mother die? Is the daughter self-injuring? Does anyone care about the children? I guess my opinion is that they should have skipped the dinner and I should have skipped the book.
posted Feb 20, 2014 at 8:27PM
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main characters Cynthia Fiske
Freelance writer; believes her father killed her invalid mother; father remarried a much younger woman whs is now divorcing him after he suffered a stroke.

Cynthia's older sister.

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