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Publisher's Summary

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
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Maryb on 05-22-14

Simply disappointing.

Would you try another book from Susan Rebecca White and/or the narrators?

Unlikely, except for the narrator George Newbern, he did a good job.

What was most disappointing about Susan Rebecca White’s story?

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.

What character would you cut from A Place at the Table?

Amelia. I don't think the storyline needed it.

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By B.J. on 05-11-15

This is a beautifully crafted book. Just lovely.

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.

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14 of 20 people found this review helpful

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