Cover Image: At the Table

At the Table

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Member Reviews

Compelling story about the fallout of the Maguire family when the parents of 2 adult children, Nicole and Jamie announce their separation after 30 years.  I really enjoyed this novel, with a good storyline that keeps a good pace throughout so I stayed easily engaged with it. Strong and steady character development and really connected with each member of the family.   Thanks to NetGalley, the author and publisher for the advance copy of this book.
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Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with this title in exchange for an honest review.

At the Table introduces us to the very well-fleshed-out members of the Maguire family through a series of dinners, drinks, lunches and coffee dates. It all starts when the parents announce their separation to their adult children, which unravels their lives as the thing that they believed in the most suddenly collapses. 

I definitely enjoyed the concept of getting to know the family and their troubles through meals and I marveled at Powell's witty observational prose. However, I did find that the plot lagged around the middle and the novel would have probably benefited from being a bit shorter. Even so, I think this is the perfect novel for people that are interested in the nitty-gritty of familial relationships and how these evolve over time.
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My favourite trope in fiction is the disaster dinner party, so I knew I’d enjoy this—the whole book is structured around mealtime gatherings—but I surprised by how much I loved this story of four members of a family all falling apart in different ways. Quier and wry and devastating, like Tessa Hadley writing Sally Rooney.
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I really enjoyed this witty, clever read. I love books about family dynamics - were the drama is all within the relationships- and this is exactly that. Told through a year of family meals, this chronicles how Jamie and his sister Nicole deal with the shock announcement of their parents divorce. A fantastic funny read.
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I LOVED this book. It is addictive & such a gorgeous read . Linda Nicole Gerry & Jamie are well written & relatable  Claire has written each character so well &  I couldn't help but loving all of them  I'm hoping for a sequel as I want to know more about these characters Dont miss this superb read
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Warning! Will make you hungry
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Really good idea setting every chapter at a mealtime. Very good read.
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A so well written so on point.A look at family at a dysfunctional family a group of well written characters that really come alive.The setting at different tables where we sit relat and interact with our families.I really enjoyed this book from the well drawn cover to the last page.#netgalley#littlebrownuk
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At The Table is a portrait of a family of four over the course of one year, starting with the divorce announcements of Linda and Gerry, the parents, to their two 30-something children, Nicole and Jamie. The book is made up of dinner and lunch scenes, which I thought was a very creative and interesting way to look at how these four characters deal with the aftermath of the divorce. Needless to say, they all deal differently, but neither deals very well. The characters were believable, interesting, if a little stereotypical. On the whole, a very strong debut.
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Thank you to Netgalley & Little, Brown Book Group UK for this ARC!

This family drama is set around the Maguire family, the parents Gerry & Linda and their two grown up children Nicole and Jamie. It examins the subsequent knock-on effect of the parents seperation on each member of the family.

I absolutely devoured this novel. When I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it. A well written, interesting and great paced story which explores a number of important issues such as post natal depression, anxiety, generational trauma & alcoholism. 

This novel is divided into seasons, which I loved as it paces the Novel really well. Each chapter revolves around eating/drinking hence the title "At the Table". This never felt repetitive and often felt like an easter egg when you realised where the "table" was within the chapter. It also made me realise how often we celebrate or commiserate over food. How food plays such a huge part in the milestones of our life.
 This felt like such such an original and unique set up.
My favourite character award definitely goes to Jamie; I could read another whole book from his POV. His storyline was excellent, well written and how the writer describes anxiety and depression felt so personal and true to life. 

Gerry's character is also from the same town in Northern Ireland as me, which I was so excited to see represented, that may have played a little part in my overall enjoyment of this novel! 

An emotional, engrossing and well written debut novel from Claire Powell. Definitely worth picking up!
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At The Table follows the four members of the Maguire family over a year ,2018, of lunches, dinners and drinks. This a year of big changes starting with a belated Mother’s Day lunch where parents Linda and Gerry announce to their adult children, hard working party girl  Nicole and peace keeper soon to be married but unsure if that is what he wants Jamie, they are splitting up after more than 30 years of marriage what follows is the story of the fall out from this out of blue shock. Each chapter is a different family member giving both their own part of the story, some background story and the ongoing family story, this is centred round a meal or drink-meeting in the pub at lunchtime, curry with dad, friends over dinner- old conflicts come to head, words had and more importantly not had, tears are cried, wine is drunk in this funny, well observed, sometimes too accurate portrayal of family life… we can all relate on some level 

To say I enjoyed this book is a understatement I thought it was truly fabulous. From chapter one the book was layered with “realisms” that were so true I felt I was at the dinner table with my own family, from the dance of who is having starters, the phone scrolling tic, to the way we fall into assigned roles the instant we sit to break bread with our family. It is so true to life.

The story is well paced, character driven, heartwarming, tender, funny and true. The outcome isn’t a fairy tale ending but it’s resolved, much like in real life things can never be perfect for me that added to the well written true to life nature of the book. The way the story is told and how it processes is a clever idea, it gives the book a fresh feel and further adds to the realness, I mean when you think of your family met ups how often does it involve a meal/drinks/coffee. If you like your books true to life and character lead this novel is for you.

Thank you so much NetGalley, the author Claire Powell( a brilliant new talent) and Little, Brown Book Group Uk for this ARC. I’ve just pre ordered a copy for my mum and sister to read sure they will enjoy it as much as I did.

Footnote- love the cover it captures the book perfectly
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Ooh this pulls you in straight into the conflict, and never stops to entertain. Family dramas ripple through the family like a devastating wave and their reactions are golden. This is so realistic, at times it feels a little too close to home (unless that's just my fam!). 
This has little gems of details that shine and add glitter to this read.
Sharp, surprising, stunning.
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Whilst the concept of exploring family dynamics through a series of meal-focused episodes may sound formulaic, such is the skill of Claire Powell’s writing and her understanding of the human condition that ‘At the Table’ is anything but.
In the opening pages, during a Mother’s Day lunch, Gerry and Linda Maguire tell their adult children, Nicole and Jamie, that their marriage has ended.  The novel deals with the fall-out.  Nicole and Jamie are stunned; their reactions to this remind us that, however old we are, we are always our parents’ children.  Nicole storms out and Powell’s description of her as she walks directionless in central London captures her shock and panic superbly: ‘She keeps walking purposeful yet utterly directionless.  Up into Soho, Oxford Street, Tottenham Court Road, feeling nothing and everything and like the only thing she needs to do right now is burn off the hot, useless energy that’s rushing inside her.’
Post-announcement, career woman Nicole continues to binge drink and have hopeless one-night stands whilst fantasising that things would be better with her former boyfriend Ollie, whom she found boring and predictable a few years earlier.  Jamie is marrying Lucy, his partner of ten years, but it’s not just the frantic wedding planning that he’s finding discombobulating.  Over the course of the narrative, like their parents, Jamie and Nicole grow to understand that people alter and adjustments happen - this is normal; family is no more set in aspic than any of its individual members.  And if all this sounds a little earnest for some, Claire Powell’s storytelling ensures that there are plenty of comedic as well as poignant moments.
Whilst the central focus is on the utterly believable Maguire family, the author’s depiction of Lucy’s parents, Nicole and Jamie’s colleagues and Linda’s ‘old biddy’ neighbour are all equally perceptive.  Readers who value pitch-perfect character depiction and an intelligent exploration of social mores will quickly become engrossed in this novel.
My thanks to NetGalley and Little Brown Book Group UK, Fleet for a copy of this novel in exchange for a fair review.
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A glut of recent releases feature a character face down on the cover. This one really tickled me when I saw it, but the subject matter is a lot less humorous than it might appear.
At the Table is a debut novel focusing on characters and their interactions with one another. Though major life events take place, this novel focuses primarily on the little moments that make up the mosaic of our lives.
Our focus is a family comprising Gerry and Linda and their grown-up children, Jamie and Nicole. Their lives have been marked by meals, and this focuses on a year in their lives at different moments. We start with a meal where the parents reveal they’re getting divorced and we end with a meal shared with mother and daughter who are, due to the events they’ve been through, forging a new relationship. Along the way we have celebratory meals, catch-up meals, drunken meals but our focus is always the family and their gradual discoveries about themselves and each other.
Powell paints a frank yet tender picture of people at their lowest. The events felt, on occasion, as if they were washing over me but I found myself touched by the attempts of the author to show the characters shifting and developing.
Thanks to NetGalley for giving me the chance to review this prior to publication.
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Claire Powell’s At The Table is a striking debut. It is a tender, and often devastating, exploration of the year in the life of the Maguire family. 

At The Table follows the four members of the Maguire family over a year of lunches, dinners and drinks. There is Linda and Gerry, and their adult children Nicole and Jamie. At The Table begins with Linda and Gerry announcing their separation over lunch. This knocks their children, who assumed their parent’s marriage was a happy one, sending shockwaves that reverberate through their lives. Nicole’s hardworking and even harder drinking begin to catch up with her. Whilst Jamie fears he’s sleep walking into a marriage he’s not sure he wants. 

I really loved the format of Powell’s novel and thought it worked so brilliantly to tell the Maguires’ story. Each chapter revolves around either a lunch, dinner or drinks, in some cases we have only one Maguire participating, whilst in others we see more of the family together. There are so many different dynamics going on and we are able to learn so much about each of the characters through these snapshots into their lives. It’s such a unique way of storytelling, I loved it.

You really feel that you get to know the Maguires across the duration of At The Table. Each character is well developed and they feel very real. All four of them are deeply flawed and I felt for them all. In many ways it was quite difficult to read about them, both their individual struggles and the fracturing nature of their family dynamics (there are some content warnings to be noted here). Such is the strength of Powell’s writing that you come to really care about them all and hope that things will get better for them. 

This really is an impressive debut and I will look forward to reading whatever Powell writes next.
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What an accomplished debut novel this is. It is set across the space of a year and features the Maguire family, mum Linda, dad Gerry and their grown up children Nicole and Jamie. Every scene is set around a meal or drinks of some kind and in the opening, the family gather to celebrate Linda's birthday only to be told the news that Linda and Gerry have separated. Their children are appalled - their parents are not supposed to have emotional crises, not when both Nicole and Jamie are having their own crises. Each character is really well drawn, with their many flaws still not completely obliterating the fact that they are not total monsters, they are just normal people with issues. In many cases these issues are caused by alcohol - by the end my liver felt pickled and I'm not drinking at the moment. I know nothing about Claire Powell's background but she is able to articulate insight and emotional depth into all her characters, and the book is driven by these characters coming a cropper and having to work themselves out. As a reader, you do realise an emotional car crash is coming way ahead of the characters themselves which I found very entertaining. An astute well written book. Thanks to Netgalley for my copy.
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I really enjoyed this book about a family slowly unravelling and denying the depths and truth of their fears and inability to manage these. 
The parents separate, but why? The adult daughter drinks too much and makes inappropriate choices, buy why?  The adult son is stuck in a nice relationship with a nice woman, and is not happy. All of these characters are easy to relate to or to empathise with. The honesty of each person’s situation and dilemma, which is slowly revealed as the story unfolds means the reader is fully invested in wishing for the truth to be revealed, and for the characters to face up to their challenges, and change their lives
Excellently realistic. 
Thanks to #NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book ahead of publication in exchange for an honest review .
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So much family drama! I really enjoyed this book and was hooked from the first page. The writing is also stunning and made me laugh out loud quite a few times!
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Powell's novel is a slow-burner that definitely lived up to my expectations; the prose is flowing and captures in the most delicate manner the main theme of family structure and dynamics and of growing up.
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Beautiful. Poignant. Phenomenal.
This was a beautify read and I learnt so much. There was nothing more that I wanted from this book. Truly a gem.
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A great read by Claire Powell, Nicole and her brother are figuring out what being the adult children of divorced parents means and the way this prompts them to take a look at their own lives. Entertaining and really witty.
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