The Birthday Lunch

The Birthday Lunch

Book - 2015
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From the bestselling author of Latitudes of Melt and An Audience of Chairs : The Birthday Lunch is the story of one pivotal week in the life of a family facing a tragic loss, rich with dramatic tension and beautifully rendered.

Free-spirited Lily has always played the peacemaker between her fierce, doting sister, Laverne, and her own loving, garrulous husband, Hal, as they competed for her attention. The competition has only grown worse since the three of them moved into a large house in the town of Sussex, New Brunswick. On Lily's 58th birthday, a steamy day in late June, Laverne feels she has bested Hal by winning her sister's company for a gourmet lunch, but it becomes a bitter and short-lived victory when the day's events take an unexpected and tragic turn.
In The Birthday Lunch , Joan Clark explores the different ways each member of Lily's family confronts her shocking death: Hal's open sorrow, her daughter Claudia's reappraisal of her own life, her son Matt's determination to assign blame. And unforgettably, Laverne's eccentricity and isolation, her intensifying conflict with Hal, illuminates the brutal territory of accusation and regret. Compassionate and engrossing with a powerful sense of place, The Birthday Lunch is an extraordinary new novel from one of our most gifted storytellers.
Publisher: Toronto : Alfred A. Knopf Canada, ©2015.
ISBN: 9780345809568
Characteristics: 262 pages ;,21 cm


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Mar 01, 2018

I'm embarrassed to say that I have only recently discovered Joan Clark. A thousand thank yous to Dayna at Port Moody Library for recommending Latitudes of Melt by Joan Clark, a book so deceptively honest in its storytelling that I was unsettled, surprised and, finally, profoundly moved. Never have I read a book that reveals outport Newfoundland, and its link to the Titanic, so movingly. To be honest, I had no idea how and why Newfoundland became so involved in the disaster of the 20th century. Latitudes of Melt helped me understand that connection in an uncommon and movingly way.

Once I read Latitudes of Melt I was desperate to read more from this significant Canadian author. The Birthday Lunch was the next book I read by Joan Clark. The story is important, but family relations are what stood out for me. It's made me consider my own family and the way we interact with one another. Thank you , Joan Clark

Oct 10, 2015

I like Joan Clark's writing. She writes of everyday life, with a twist. This is the story of Lily's 58th birthday lunch and how each family member copes in the aftermath of her sudden death. past and present details of inter relationships are explored in light of Lily's death. An interesting read.

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