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"Susan Rebecca White is a first rate talent whose work is like good bread; it rises, and it leaves us filled. A Place at the Table is a love story written for expats and orphans, for all who seek home and find it in the most beautiful, the most unlikely place. This is a glorious novel, told in a pitch perfect voice. I love this book."
“A Place at the Table reads like a master chef's five course meal: each section makes its own delicious sense, but taken all together the intertwining stories in this novel create something uniquely magical. Susan Rebecca White made me think, made me cry, made my jaw drop, made me laugh out loud. A story of outsiders in this world, this fantastic book defies convention in plot, characterization, and even narrative structure, to forge something amazing in its pages: new identities, relationships you have not seen before, new stories, characters you will never forget. Like a brilliant new recipe: it works! Savor this confident storytelling — you'll know you're in good hands from the first page. A book you'll devour quickly and then want to share with friends!”
“Susan Rebecca White creates a world as exact as a documentary film and as lyrically imagined as a poem, moving seamlessly between the voices of three disparate characters whose lives connect in surprising and satisfying ways. She has a remarkable ear for dialogue and gift for crafting moments—both big and small—that reveal humanity in all its awkward, muddled splendor. A Place at the Table stayed with me long after I turned the last page.”
A Place at the Table is the story of troubled souls finding their way and making a place for themselves through the magic of the big city and a love of cooking. With unforgettable characters, rich detail, and seamless narration, White's new novel will long remain in the reader's mind and memory, a gentle reminder of the importance of acceptance in all it's forms and the myriad connections that surround us."
A Place at the Table
in North Carolina
Posted January 31, 2014
This book lacked character and story development, and failed to draw the reader in to sympathize with the characters. The characters were stereotyped (the Southern black woman making a go in the big city, the Southern gay male brought up in a Christian household, the alcoholic housewife with limited skills); trotting Anita Bryant out in the guise of a minor character continued with the cliches. There were some glimmers of good story lines yet these were never fully developed, and the reader could tie the story lines together long before the end of the book. Finally, the book lacked tantalizing descriptions of food, something that was implied in the title yet also never fully developed. Besides getting tired of descriptions of pound cake, other foods were generally just mentioned in passing without whetting the appetite.
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Posted January 1, 2015
White's novel is interesting, but not memorable. The characters seem flat and blasé, and do not stick in my memory. The story starts with a bang, but fizzles as the story progresses and the dialogue of Amelia drags like a trite sermon. I really did not enjoy a single character from Alice to Bobby to Amelia. Some of the minor characters created a little excitement, but for only a fleeting moment. This is not a book I would recommend to read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 14, 2014
Posted April 30, 2014
The novel mostly centers on Bobby. I will be honest and say I've never read a story about a gay male protagonist. I wasn't sure what to expect. The story begins when Bobby is just a little boy, even before he is understanding himself. I found myself falling in love with this little boy and cheering for him as he began to stand up for himself. Even as he becomes an adult, I felt so parental for Bobby! Oh and such an awful time, the 80s during the AIDs epidemic--I won't say more.
I felt so much for Alice, she had seen, lived and lost so much over her lifetime. Really liked her and had so much empathy for her. The story of Amelia--seemed out of sync with the rest of the novel. I will say it ended up coming together beyond my expectations! I have mixed feelings about the end of the novel. I would have liked a little more closure with one of the characters. However, it was simply a wonderful novel. I would highly recommend it. I also would have loved some more recipes in the back of the book :) everything sounded so yummy!!!
Posted March 23, 2014
A rich, beautiful novel about three unlikely, complex characters who meet in a chic Manhattan café and realize they must sacrifice everything they ever knew or cared about to find authenticity, fulfillment, and love.
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.
-- I started reading this book, and I was in total heaven. Then we switched characters and I was sad for the loss of the last one. Then halfway through, I could start to see the thread weaving the stories together and I whispered to myself, bloody brilliant!! It was like a little petit four, where you bite into it, get one flavor and then halfway through the bite, something else that is even more divine shines through, and then the last bite really just made it over the top! That is the way this book is! All the characters are so three dimensional, I thought any minute Alice would come through the pages.
And who doesn't love cooking in a book? Talk about making me drool! At the back, there is a recipe for Mittie Cumbie Wade's Sour Cream Pound Cake, seems to die for! There is also a book discussion and a chat with the author, which I always love, gives the story behind the story.
This was my FIRST book by Ms White, but it won't be my last! Thank you for such a wonderful read.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Posted December 6, 2013
Alice and her twin James were inseparable. They knew exactly what each other was thinking at all times. Unfortunately their peaceful world is destroyed when they stumble upon a young man who was hanged and they discover the truth about their family. Flash forward roughly 60 years and Alice has become quite famous as an amazing chef and author. Meanwhile, Bobby has been abandoned by his southern Baptist family, because he is gay. He goes to New York for a fresh start and he finds himself in a quaint café, where he trains to become the head chef. Alice and Bobby share an exquisite palate that allows them to form a profound friendship, despite the harsh realities of the world.
This book describes the human emotions with every commanding detail, which will surely reach deep within readers’ hearts. Susan Rebecca White divides the book into several sections, organized by the main character’s point of view and the decade. The beginning of Bobby’s story is a bit slow and it is difficult to tell how old he is when his story begins. However readers get the chance to grow along with Bobby, as he learns to accept his homosexuality, deal with his shattered family and his quest to find an accepting God. The ending is very rushed and even though it tries to tie back into the stories of Alice and Bobby, readers will wish the author could have extended the ending. This is a thought-provoking tale of how we are all connected in this seemingly big world.
This review was written for My Sister’s Books.
This review originally was posted on Ariesgrl Book Reviews.
Posted March 26, 2014
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Posted August 22, 2013
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Posted December 23, 2013
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