From Susan Rebecca White, award-winning author of A Soft Place to Land and Bound South, comes a breathtaking story of three richly nuanced outcasts whose paths converge in a chic Manhattan café as they realize they must give up everything they thought they knew to find a home at last.
Alice Stone is famous for the homemade southern cuisine she serves at Café Andres, a chic gathering place for New York’s cultural illuminati, and in her groundbreaking southern cookbook. But her past, on the other hand, is a mystery to all who know her. Upon Alice’s retirement, Bobby Banks, a young gay man ostracized by his family in Georgia, sets out to revive the aging café with his own brand of southern cooking while struggling with heartbreak like he’s never known. Meanwhile, seeking respite from the breakup of her marriage, wealthy divorcée Amelia Brighton finds solace in the company and food at Café Andres, until a family secret comes to light in the pages of Alice’s cookbook that threatens to upend her life.
In her most accomplished novel yet, Susan Rebecca White braids together the stories of these three unforgettable characters who must learn that when you embrace the thing that makes you different, you finally may become whole.
Susan Rebecca White
Used Book in Good Condition
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Do you like a good traditional pound cake recipe and inspired Southern cuisine? Do you like a novel with Southern charm (and that Southern Gothic element as well)? What about a good quirky character ensemble? Susan Rebecca White's novel, A Place at the Table, combines all of these elements. The novel's prologue describes a disturbing scene in Emancipation, North Carolina during the late 20s, but the bulk of the novel takes place during the 1980s in Georgia, Connecticut and New York City. How does a character from an era of lynchings and fear intertwine with more modern characters trying to make their way in NYC? You will enjoy finding out the answer and following the three main characters of Alice, Bobby, and Amelia as they all make their way to find peace with themselves and the world around them.
White combines elements of Southern traditions and mores with all the good and bad that these customs hold. With inspired cuisine and accounts of the deeply...
This book was an okay read. I thought all of the main characters were one dimentional and the Bobby character was so stereotypical. The author loves this character & spends more time with him than any other and his only interesting characteristic (according to the author) is he is gay and his Christian parents have a hard time accepting this in their son. And yet we have another book about how tolerant New Yorkers are, even in the 1930's; that race prejudice & homophobia didn't exist then or now. But race prejudice must have been present in New York as James, passing as white, refused to acknowledge Alice on the street. Alice wasn't a very compeling character either and I think the brother's journey would have been much more interesting. The only common thread between these characters is food; which was basically dressed up Southern cuisine. The book left so many unanswered questions and undeveloped story lines. I also thought the ending was well...weird. Several reviewers...
A good, not a great, book, Susan White did give us some meaty issues that brought forth memories of interesting and touching personal experiences. Purportedly a book revolving around food, the author didn’t really make us feel the comfort nor taste the flavors (please read Like Water For Chocolate, or Blood Bones and Butter). Yes, baking bread was important, and the love of cooking did connect the characters, but it was the important issues of Race, Homosexuality, Religious Beliefs, and Family Unity that shared a place at the table.
I longed for deeper development of Alice, loved and suffered for Bobby. Amelia wasn’t my favorite, but I came to agree that she was needed to link the stories together and be the character who learned, changed, and grew from her experiences. Meemaw was perfect and being a Grandmother is a wonderful gift!
The ending left me disappointed as I wanted closure and it felt like a cop-out. Perhaps that was White’s...
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