At The Table by Claire Powell
AT THE TABLE
Published in March, this witty debut has received large amounts of praise, from journalists and editors to the revered @marian_keyes who calls the author @clairemegpowell “an incredible new talent”. Let’s take a moment to appreciate the cover – I feel that level of frustration most hours.
Set in 2018, we watch the hardworking, single Nicole and her brother, engaged teacher Jamie, find out that their parents, ostensibly happily married, are separating. We follow the family over the course of a tumultuous year, through lunches, dinners and drinks as they question their upbringing, with their sense of security rocked and the simmering familial dysfunction rising to the surface.
I raced through this book in a day, the chapters are well paced and characters felt so vivid it was as if I had met them all in person. The star for me was Nicole, as she desperately tries to succeed in all areas, dealing with work, men, friendships and her family, you could feel the societal pressure and expectations building within. We have all been her.
I did want to step in and shake Nicole and Jamie at times, at one point imagining the lecture I would give after a particularly problematic drunken night out. As more is revealed about the marriage and divorce, Powell is able to explore the dynamics between parents and kids, our tendency to put the childhood home on a pedestal when the reality can be very different.
There were poignant moments, passages of acutely sharp observations, cringe worthy scenes and eruptions when the proverbial excrement hits the fan. This would be perfect beach/pool reading, emotive and layered enough to be gripping but with an ease, humour and lightness that lends itself to a cocktail in the sun ~ C
Ad:PR Copy ~ Thank you so much @fleetreads for sending over this brilliant book
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