Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Place at the Table - Book Review

From the cover :

Three outcasts longing for home come together at Manhattan’s Café Andres, a chic gathering place for New York’s cultural illuminati. 

Alice Stone is famous for the homemade southern cuisine she serves at Café Andres and her groundbreaking cookbook, but her past is a mystery to all who know her. Upon Alice’s retirement, Bobby Banks, a young gay man ostracized by his family in Georgia, sets out to revive the aging café with his new brand of southern cooking while he struggles with heartbreak like he’s never known. Seeking respite from the breakup of her marriage, wealthy divorcée Amelia Brighton finds solace in the company and food at Café Andres, until a family secret comes to light in the pages of Alice’s cookbook and threatens to upend her life. 

In her most accomplished novel yet, Susan Rebecca White braids together the stories of these three unforgettable characters who must learn that when you embrace the thing that makes you different, you become whole.

My thoughts :

The language and superb story-telling in A Place at the Table by Susan Rebecca White immediately drew me into the lives of her rich and very-human characters. I devoured the novel in an evening. This is actually a very appropriate description since the details of the Southern cuisine cooked up by Alice and Bobby literally made my mouth water. 

White tells a moving story of hope and redemption. Her gracious way of telling Bobby's story as a gay man living in New York City during the AIDS scare of the 80's reminds me of Three Junes by Julia Glass. Her prose is at times delicate, at times tactful but always moving the story towards the lovely conclusion. It's a story of unlikely friendships; healing and most amazing food.

Disclosure : A Place at the Table includes a few sex scenes and some language.

A Place at the Table by Susan Rebecca White was published by Touchstone in June 2013. It was released in paperback in March 2014. Also, congratulations to Susan for the birth of her new baby boy and check out her recipe for Winter Squash Soup. It sounds incredible!

**I received a complimentary copy of A Place at the Table in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. No compensation was received.**

1 comment:

Beth Hoffman said...

Lovely review! I read this book a few months ago and thoroughly enjoyed it.