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At the Table

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Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781405552660

Price: £19.99

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At the Table is a hugely intelligent, emotionally astute novel about family dynamics, and Claire Powell is an incredible new talent’ Marian Keyes

‘An assured, exquisitely drawn novel that fans of Sorrow And Bliss will adore’ Sarra Manning, Red magazine


To Nicole and Jamie Maguire, their parents seem the ideal couple – a suburban double act, happily married for more than thirty years. So when Linda and Gerry announce that they’ve decided to separate, the news sends shockwaves through the siblings’ lives, forcing them to confront their own expectations and desires.

Hardworking – and hard-drinking – Nicole pursues the ex she unceremoniously dumped six years ago, while people-pleasing Jamie fears he’s sleepwalking into a marriage he doesn’t actually want. But as the siblings grapple with the pressures of thirtysomething life, their parents struggle to protect the fragile façade of their own relationship, and the secrets they’ve both been keeping.

Set in 2018, Claire Powell’s beautifully observed debut novel follows each member of the Maguire family over a tumultuous year of lunches, dinners and drinks, as old conflicts arise and relationships are re-evaluated. A gripping yet tender depiction of family dynamics, love and disillusionment, At the Table is about what it means to grow up – both as an individual, and as a family.

‘Painfully funny, acutely well-observed, powerfully resonant in its humanity and emotional accuracy. I missed this book whenever I wasn’t reading it’ Luke Kennard

‘A brilliant, coruscating depiction of dysfunctional family life. SO astute, on so many levels. I loved it’ Hannah Beckerman

Reviews

A smart, readable and sharply contemporary debut, full of awkward family lunches and drunken weddings, darting between Camberwell flats, Soho bars and late-night Ubers
The Times and Sunday Times Best Books of 2022
I have rarely seen the relationship between parents and their grown-up children so deftly exposed. I sat, at the end of it, startled, close to tears. It made me want to call my mother immediately
Sophie Heawood
Powell is a fantastic writer who exercises perfect control. Every detail is forensically, sympathetically observed, and while there's a lot that's tragic, it's often very close to comedy
Wendy Holden, Daily Mail
Filled with razor-sharp dialogue and psychological acuity, At the Table is an astute debut novel about dysfunctional family life
Hannah Beckerman, Observer
A lovely novel. I adored the precision with which these people are seen, and the exactness of the social setting. I found myself absorbed in them, caring about them, wanting them to do the right thing, and I was very sorry to leave them. It's a novel Elizabeth Taylor wouldn't wouldn't have minded writing, and there aren't enough of those around
Philip Hensher
Claire Powell's great skill is to reveal to the reader what her characters struggle to realize themselves . . . Its themes are unremarkable - love, self-knowledge, the feeling everyone else is living while you are standing still . . . yet almost everything in it feels true
Claire Allfree, Metro
At the Table is a hugely intelligent, emotionally astute novel about family dynamics, and Claire Powell is an incredible new talent
Marian Keyes
At The Table is an assured, exquisitely drawn novel that fans of Sorrow And Bliss will adore
Sarra Manning, Red magazine (online)
What sets At the Table apart is Powell's acute understanding not just of how we interact in the modern world...but the eternals of the human comedy: how people fool themselves, make excuses, get it wrong and keep trying anyway
John Self, The Times
I loved this novel about a family. Each chapter has a meal (or drink, lots of drinks) and Claire Powell's writing and characters are funny and heartbreaking and moreish. I'm jealous of anyone who hasn't read it yet
Flynn Berry, author of Northern Spy
Filled with razor-sharp dialogue and psychological acuity, At the Table is an astute debut novel about dysfunctional family life
Hannah Beckerman, Observer
The story's centre is Nicole - a spiky and charismatic woman struggling to get her life in order . . . Like Waller-Bridge's Fleabag and Rooney's Marianne, Nicole is her own woman: a complex and satisfying presence. At the Table is rich with delights
Erica Wagner, Harper's Bazaar
Painfully funny, acutely well-observed, powerfully resonant in its humanity and emotional accuracy. I missed this book whenever I wasn't reading it
Luke Kennard
A beautifully-written novel about what keeps a family together and what tears it apart
Lissa Evans
Well-written, witty family drama
Good Housekeeping
At the Table is an assured, exquisitely drawn read that has word-of-mouth bestseller written all over it
Red magazine