It is their last evening together. Maya, Sandra, and Derek, graduate students at UC Santa Cruz and housemates for three years, prepare to sit down at the tortoise listening table for dinner with Uncle Prithvi, the house-owner. It’s a cheerful and quirky household: Sandra is prone to "Orkut attacks"; Derek silently pines for the wistful-looking Afghan boy in the photo on his wall, taken while a war journalist in Afghanistan; Maya, who has the hots for Derek, is inexplicably terrified of the ocean; elusive Uncle Prithvi communicates through notes he leaves all over the place.
Sad at parting, perhaps forever, and half tipsy, they play a game of telling stories - their own stories. As the evening deepens, unexpected secrets and fears of the four lives are unveiled. Sandra, abandoned at birth, tells of growing up in an orphanage with her precious twin, disabled Solana, only to be separated by circumstances; Uncle Prithvi rues the loss of his beloved daughter, whom he betrayed when he sought a new life with Karen in the US. And, Maya and Derek, who suddenly absents himself, cannot bring themselves to voice their tragedies - except in a soliloquy.
Mysterious and compelling, Table for Four is a rumination in miniature ivory of the burden of secrets and the pain of remembering and accepting the betrayals, loss, and tragedies of our lives.
©2011 K. Srilata (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
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