The Ghost at the Table

The Ghost at the Table

A Novel

Book - 2007
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"When Frances arranges to host Thanksgiving at her idyllic New England farmhouse, she envisions a happy family reunion, one that will include her sister, Cynthia, and their estranged father. But tension mounts as the sisters discover that each has a different version of their shared past"--Page 2 of cover.
Publisher: Chapel Hill, NC. : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2007
Edition: 1st pbk. ed
ISBN: 9781565125797
Branch Call Number: FIC Berne S
Characteristics: 304 pages ; 21 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Aug 10, 2016

A nice read; I enjoyed it enough to look for this author again.

multcolib_susannel Jan 25, 2016

Two sisters different in temperament and personality find they also differ in what they remember about their mother's death.

WVMLStaffPicks Sep 17, 2014

When Cynthia Fiske reluctantly agrees to join Frances, her elegant older sister, for Thanksgiving at Frances's beautifully restored New England home, all sorts of skeletons come tumbling out of the closet, including the mysterious death of their mother. The presence of their estranged father causes even more tension between the two sisters -- one who wants to whitewash the past for the sake of familial harmony, and the other who stubbornly adheres to 'the truth'. What starts out as a conventional dysfunctional family reunion turns into something slightly more sinister when we realize that the version of the truth we've been hearing may not be the one we should believe.

Oct 12, 2013

1/2 * Strikingly different since childhood and leading very dissimilar lives now, sisters Frances and Cynthia have nevertheless managed to remain "devoted" AS long as they stay on opposite coasts. But with the reappearance of their elderly, long-estranged father they find themselves reunited for a cold, snowy Thanksgiving week a reunion that awakens sleeping tensions and old sorrows. Frances envisions a happy family holiday with her husband and daughters in her lovely old New England farmhouse. Cynthia, a writer of historical fiction, doesn't understand how Frances can ignore the past their father's presence revives, a past that includes suspicions about their mother's death twenty-five years earlier. Adding to her uneasiness is her research for a book on Mark Twain's daughters, whose lives she thinks eerily mirror her own and Frances's. As Thanksgiving day arrives, with a houseful of guests looking forward to dinner, the sisters continue to struggle with different versions of their shared past. The Ghost at the Table reveals what happens when one person tries to rewrite another's history and explores the mystery of why families try to stay together even when it may be in their best interests to stay apart. **** I did not bond with these sisters. I was left with unresolved issues and seeming total misperceptions of reality, not only on the part of the sisters, but also by Frances's husband. Who made a pass at whom? How did their mother die? Is the daughter self-injuring? Does anyone care about the children? I guess my opinion is that they should have skipped the dinner and I should have skipped the book.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at GCPL

To Top