Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

Strangers at the Feast

Posted on

Strangers at the Feast by Jennifer Vanderbes

Strangers at the Feast

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
67416
publisher:
Scribner
genre:
Fiction

We gave it a B

Jennifer Vanderbes, the author of 2003’s acclaimed Easter Island anchors her second novel in a more prosaic setting — the green-lawned commuter exurbs of New York City — but its gradually ratcheted domestic drama reaches well beyond the Cheever-country milieu of adultery and cocktail-clink ennui. Told over the course of a single Thanksgiving Day family gathering in 2007, Strangers of the Feast traces the disparate paths and secret struggles of its central clan — Vietnam-vet father, fraught-housewife mother, and their conflicted adult offspring — while working inexorably toward a violent, heavily foreshadowed climax. Though Vanderbes is a gifted writer, her plot machinations and excessively self-sabotaging characters ultimately sour the Feast. B

See all of this week’s reviews

Comments