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Extended Audio Sample Strangers at the Feast: A Novel, by Jennifer Vanderbes Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (649 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jennifer Vanderbes Narrator: Renée Raudman Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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On Thanksgiving Day 2007, three generations of the Olson family gather. Eleanor and Gavin worry about their daughter Ginny, an unmarried academic in her thirties with a newly adopted Indian daughter, and about their son Douglas, who has recently been caught in the imploding real-estate bubble. But Ginny and Douglas, determined to have a perfect holiday, keep their troubles secret, a skill they have learned from their parents.

As old grudges, personality clashes, and a stove malfunction spiral the Olson’s holiday into a tense and foodless afternoon, seventeen-year-old Kijo Jackson and his best friend, Spider, set out from the housing projects on a mysterious job. As these two families—one white, one black—head toward a violent and inevitable encounter, Jennifer Vanderbes masterfully lays bare the fraught lives of these fascinating characters and the lengths to which they will go to protect their families.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Family conflict, fascinating social commentary, and a riveting plot converge in Jennifer Vanderbes’ stunning Strangers at the Feast, a thriller that also raises large and haunting questions about the meaning of guilt, innocence, and justice.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “An inventively plotted, highly readable novel about white Americans’ overweening sense of entitlement.”

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Julie | 2/9/2014

    " This book is about disfunctional and tension filled family members getting together at Thanksgiving. After interesting backstories are presented ,tragedy occurs that change their lives forever. The way the story is written they were on this collision course as a result of their choices in pursuing their American dream. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jennifer | 2/8/2014

    " 3.5 actually. A somewhat strange read. I think this will make for a good discussion. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Elizabeth | 2/4/2014

    " Started out really strong but lost a lot of momentum. I would have preferred just a family drama with solid plot of relationships and social mores without the drama of the home invasion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Patricia Sanders | 1/18/2014

    " Strangers at the Feast is family drama at it's best. Many families keep secrets, but the members of this family did not seem to have much in common until a tragic holiday event. This is a riveting read and brings up many issues that would make for great book club discussions. "

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About the Author
Author Jennifer Vanderbes

Jennifer Vanderbes is the author of the novels Easter Island and Strangers at the Feast, and she is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a New York Public Library Cullman Fellowship. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and Granta and has been translated into sixteen languages. She lives in New York City with her daughter.