Customer Reviews for

Strangers at the Feast

Average Rating 4
( 28 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Thriller With Heart

Absolutely loved this suspenseful read by author I had never heard of. Unknown guests attend family Thanksgiving. I could not put this book down, finished it in a day. Has everything in it: suspense, drama, family loyalty, love. A must read for sure.

posted by 2615541 on August 4, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Not as thrilling as promised, but still worth reading

In Strangers At The Feast, Jennifer Vanderbes produces the tight, engaging narrative every writer dreams of creating. From the opening line, Jennifer Vanderbes draws you in and invites you to sit down with her fictional family while they tell their story. Vanderbes ta...
In Strangers At The Feast, Jennifer Vanderbes produces the tight, engaging narrative every writer dreams of creating. From the opening line, Jennifer Vanderbes draws you in and invites you to sit down with her fictional family while they tell their story. Vanderbes tackles weighty themes ranging from socioeconomics to eminent domain.

I struggled to craft a synopsis that would do justice to Strangers At The Feast. Simply stating the plot doesn't cover the intricacies of Vanderbes' story. Unfortunately, the complexity that made Strangers At The Feast appealing to me as a reader also detracted from my experience.

Each chapter is told from the point of view of a different character. Although this formula gives the reader a feeling of immediacy and intimacy with Vanderbes' characters, they lack the distinctive voices that make the technique successful. Jennifer Vanderbes also spends more than half of her novel in flashback, in which she treats the reader to history lessons or waxes philosophical about the "emasculation of the American warrior." While these scenes are well-written, they drag down the book's pacing.

When I finally reached the climax, Vanderbes rushed through it, and left a number of plot points unresolved. I was far more interested in the subplot involving Ginny Olson's adopted Indian daughter than in Douglas Olson's marital difficulties and was disappointed that I didn't get to see more of Priya. Despite lagging a bit in the middle, Strangers At The Feast is a quick read. Fans of literary fiction will enjoy Jennifer Vanderbes' skill with words and appreciate the depth of her research into a wide variety of topics.

posted by SylvereApLeanan on November 9, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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