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Strangers at the Feast


Strangers at the Feast Cover

ISBN13: 9781439166987
ISBN10: 1439166986
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.


In her gripping new book, Jennifer Vanderbes masterfully lays bare the fraught lives of this complex cast of characters and the lengths to which they will go to protect their families. Strangers at the Feast is at once a heartbreaking portrait of a family struggling to find happiness and an exploration of the hidden costs of the American dream.


Published to international acclaim, Jennifer Vanderbes’s first book, Easter Island, was hailed as “one of those rare novels that appeals equally to heart, mind, and soul,” by the San Francisco Chronicle. In her second novel, this powerful writer reaches new heights of storytelling. This page-turner wrestles with the most important issues of our time—race, class, and above all else, family. Strangers at the Feast will leave readers haunted and deeply affected.

About the Author

Jennifer Vanderbes is the author of the novels The Secret of Raven Point, Easter Island, and Strangers at the Feast, and is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a New York Public Library Cullman Fellowship. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Granta and has been translated into sixteen languages. She lives in New York City. Visit her website at JenniferVanderbes.com.

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Felicia Sump, January 2, 2012 (view all comments by Felicia Sump)
I won this book through Goodreads' First Reads program, and I was pleasantly surprised. The book was very suspenseful, and I really liked that the story was told through different points of view. I definitely did not expect the ending, and it was INTENSE. The characters were all really relatable and I would recommend this book to anyone.
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janmah51, December 13, 2011 (view all comments by janmah51)
I love books about the holidays. Especially around the holidays. This novel takes place in 2007 on Thanksgiving day. The extended Olson clan gets together to celebrate the day. Due to kitchen malfunctions the whole group pile into their cars and moves the feast to another house.
The house they are headed for is Gavin and Eleanor's. Kijo and Spider are two urban black kids. Mrs. Olson is their teacher and they know she will be away for the holiday. They plan some mischief. Armed with red spray paint cans they are painting one word on the upstairs bedroom wall.
As they finish they hear cars drive up, doors slamming and voices entering the house. They are trapped.
The characters in this book are vividly drawn and you think you know them. Think again. As the drama plays out you will be surprised by who will step up to deal with the situation and who will completely fail to do so. This would be a perfect book club choice. There are so many topics to talk about. Racial issues, moral issues, and how you may not know the people you are close to as well as you think. This book will stay with you a long time, it is very powerful. I highly recommend it.
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Felicia Sump, September 4, 2011 (view all comments by Felicia Sump)
I just finished this book, and I'm still processing it. The style of the book, with chapters written from different character's point of view, made for a lot of suspense and I couldn't put the book down once I got halfway through. This book definitely made me think about how important my family is and how everyone just wants to be understood and loved. I would definitely recommend it!
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Product Details

Vanderbes, Jennifer
Scribner Book Company
General Fiction
Literature-A to Z
Literature-Family Life
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8 x 5.25 in

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life

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Product details 352 pages Scribner Book Company - English 9781439166987 Reviews:
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