The backstory: I saved Strangers at the Feast to read over Thanksgiving, when the book is set, even after everyone has been gushing about it.
The basics: Strangers at the Feast is the story of three generations of the Olson family on Thanksgiving day.
My thoughts: I adore novels told from multiple points of view, and Jennifer Vanderbes did a fantastic job with these characters. The reader is drawn into their present lives and treated to backstory and family history. For such a short novel, Vanderbes was able to manage an immense amount of depth for all of the characters. I often find myself identifying with one character more than others in multiple narrator novels, but this novel was completely balanced.
Foreshadowing was prominent throughout the novel, and it was clear something bad happened on Thanksgiving. Despite my eagerness to solve the mystery, there were no unnecessary diversions. I was as invested in the characters and the story. I read the book in a single sitting and was truly sad when it ended.
The verdict: Strangers at the Feast is a perfectly crafted, suspenseful, character-rich novel. Recommended for just about everyone.
Rating: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
Length: 352 pages
Publication date: August 3, 2010
Source: I received this book for review from the publisher
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