This reading group guide for Strangers at the Feast by Jennifer Vanderbes includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book. IntroductionThey had been happy people, thought Eleanor. When others spoke of what happened to her family, they shook their heads.
But the Olsons were so happy! Happy, and peaceful.
When three generations of the Olson family gather on Thanksgiving Day, 2007, the family unexpectedly
encounters a day fraught with frustration and fear.
First, Ginny—an unmarried thirty-something academic with a newly adopted Indian daughter—finds that her “vintage” kitchen refuses to comply with the demands of preparing Thanksgiving dinner. The family moves the feast to the estate-like home of Ginny’s brother, Dennis; his wife, Denise; and their three children. Douglas’s recent financial troubles and unwarranted optimism plague Denise as she contemplates divorcing him. Eleanor and Gavin, the matriarch and patriarch of the family, separately and silently reflect on
their ever-diminishing place in the lives of their children.
At the same time, two young men