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Listening to the Silence

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The Ghost at the Table

The Ghost at the Table - Suzanne Berne Cynthia Fiske loathes going home, though in actuality home means her sister's house in Concord and not the house in Hartford where she grew up. So when her sister Frances invites her back east to enjoy Thanksgiving with the family, Cynthia has misgivings; misgivings that only grow when she learns that their estranged father will be there as well. It becomes clear right away that not all is exactly what it seems, but Frances is determined to keep up appearances and Cynthia tries to be accomodating. But as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

This book is more than it appears. I thought when I started this book, that it was going to be easy-going women's fiction about family ties. And most of the way through the book, I continued to believe this. However as the conclusion approached, this novel became something more and all the subtle hints that I hadn't originally noticed as being important began to build upon each other to create a psychological drama about the nature of memory and truth. I am really impressed at how Berne pulled it altogether, making the reader question just who was deceiving themself and in which story the truth was really found. It has kept me thinking long since I turned the last page. Those who think this is just another simple example of women's fiction that can be ignored would be wrong, for it exhibits much of the best qualities found in that genre.