Celebrating the healing power of food and the magic of New York City, A Place at the Table follows the lives of three seekers who come together in the understanding that when you embrace the thing that makes you different, you become whole. A Place at the Table tells the story of three unforgettable characters whose paths converge in a storied Manhattan café: Bobby, a young gay man from Georgia who has been ostracized by his family; Amelia, a wealthy Connecticut woman whose life is upended when a family secret comes to light; and Alice, an African-American chef from North Carolina whose heritage is the basis of a renowned cookbook but whose past is a mystery to those who know her. These characters are exiles - from homeland, from marriage, from family. While they all find companionship and careers through cooking, they hunger for the deeper nourishment of communion. As the narrative sweeps from a freed-slave settlement in 1920s North Carolina to Manhattan during the deadly AIDS epidemic of the 1980s to the well-heeled hamlet of contemporary Old Greenwich, Connecticut, Bobby, Amelia, and Alice are asked to sacrifice everything they ever knew or cared about to find authenticity and fulfillment.
Susan Rebecca White’s first two novels were hailed for the beauty of her writing, her wit, her compassion for her characters, and her sharp insights into their inner lives. A Place at the Table announces the maturity of her talents and reveals her wise and open heart.
©2013 Susan Rebecca White (P)2013 Simon & Schuster
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
I was expecting this book to be okay based on the rating, but I really did not expect it to be wonderful - and that's what it is. I'm not sure I've ever seen an author handle BIG topics - race, bigotry, religion, death - with such compassion and grace. I immediately listened to it again just to see how she had done it.
Had this not been a book club book, I'm not sure I would have listened to it. In comparison to the other books I listen to and read, it looked too gentle. In reality, it's more like an iron hand in a velvet glove. This is an author who can handle tough stuff without being crude or harsh. And she surprised me when I least expected it.
If you're stumped for a book club selection, this one is terrific. There's lots to talk about and think about.
Unlikely, except for the narrator George Newbern, he did a good job.
I immediately thought I would return the book because I didn't like how it started, but when it switched to the story about Bobby I was glad I didn't because that was fun and interesting (plus that narrator was good). But when the story switched again to Amelia, I totally didn't get it and that narrator was terrible.
Amelia. I don't think the storyline needed it.
I have not read the print version so I can not compare the experience between print and audio.
Literary use of culinary technique and food procurement, preparation and presentation to tell the story and develop the rich characters.
Flowed, transitioned well between characters. Voice added to characters' development and made me feel as though I was right there, observing conversations.
Impossible to choose- each character was very real, rich and likable.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a story about love, forgiveness, family, friendship, all topped off with good food!
You will not be disappointed.
This wonderfully written book is about the search for that place at a table where you feel most welcomed. It's a beautifully detailed account of the lives of a group of people that have ties to the south and New York City. It brings them together. I don't have ties to either, but felt right at home in this book. I ached to get back to them between readings and the time spent listening about their plights sped by. Talking about food is healing and always a common ground. The people within this book enjoyed their food and when they needed it most - it brought them what they needed.
I had to go look up this author at her website because her writing just blew me away. What a shock. I was quite surprised by her youth for she has a clear vision of the 80's as well as being able to clearly relay the feelings of the 20's and 40's.
There are surprises on the way but ultimately you will pull away from this table completely satisfied and know that this book will stay with you for a long long time. I know it will be on my best books of this year list.
Yummy, poignant, charming!
I loved Bobby (actually listened to audio for second time as loved him). The narrator did an excellent job and the writer described every detail was was so realistic as I am a native NC so can relate as well as living in Atlanta. Bobby was so talented and creative - so much style! I also liked the James/Alice connection.
I loved everything about this book as the writer did an excellent job in bringing the three main characters together seamlessly. What I did not like was the narrator for Amelia. (she was horrible and almost cut it off as she was the most boring narrator and left the character very flat and boring and could not stand the sound of her voice as she put nothing into it).
Robin (I have heard before and does a good job with the southern dialogue); George was excellent (cannot wait to hear him again). I would not buy any other video in which Katherine is narrating (she almost ruined an epic book). I feel another performer could have done a better job.
It is critical to always have samples of every narrator --this is a deal breaker for me if I cannot listen to the narrator prior to buying.
I loved it (it will make you laugh and cry).
Outstanding! I want to buy Bound South by Susan Rebecca White; however, see you do not have it available on audio.
I accidentally downloaded this book instead of one with the same title that I was looking for, however I now think that I was meant to listen to it all along. This book is a wonderful, inspiring, perspective-altering experience. I will probably listen to it again and again.
What did I enjoy more? The lyrical weaving of the lives of interesting and lovable people? Or the lusciously described recipes and reminiscences of food that nourished their souls? This will be my most often recommended story this year.
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