“Thanksgiving” by Ellen Cooney tells the story of a Massachusetts’ house and its inhabitants, especially the women, over a period of three hundred and fifty years. It also focuses on the celebration of Thanksgiving and the preparation of food for this important occasion.
However, this excellent novel is so much more than a list of menus and how the Morley women prepared the food for their families over a period of years. We learn about these women’s innermost thoughts and feelings. We read of their fears and lies; also, the ill-treatment suffered by some of them. Each episode, roughly thirty years apart, gives us an insight into the political and social history of the time, but the historical aspect is secondary to the highs and lows experienced by the Morley women. Over the centuries, the house is extended and modernised, but throughout, it remains an important character in this novel.
I loved “Thanksgiving”! As an English woman, I enjoyed learning a little more about American history. I liked the way the author maintained continuity between one generation and another and how often, the events described in a subsequent episode would throw light on an earlier mystery. I was delighted that the novel began with Hester in 1662 and finished with another Hester in 2012.
For those who like this style of book, I would recommend some of the novels written by the English writer, Norah Lofts. Her trilogy about the house at Old Vine followed a similar format, as did her novel “Bless This House”. Likewise, if you enjoyed the Norah Lofts novels, then “Thanksgiving” is something you will like.
I would like to thank NetGalley for providing me with “Thanksgiving” free of charge, in return for my honest review.