Thursday, November 25, 2010

THE KID TABLE by Andrea Seigel

Alright, I'll admit it, a book with mac and cheese on the cover grabs my attention.'s a weakness I have grown to accept.  My gluttonous desires aside, here's a review of THE KID TABLE by Andrea Seigel.

The cousins have been sitting at the Kid Table for as long as they can remember.  They've had a lot of fun sitting off to the side of the grownups' table over the years.  The thing is most of the "kids" are bordering on being grownups now themselves.  Ingrid is a senior in high school, and Brianne is in college. Cricket, Dom, Micah, and Autumn are well on their way to adulthood, too.  Only little Katie, not yet in kindergarten, really qualifies as a kid anymore.  Yet, here they all sit at each family celebration.

The story begins with the Bar Mitzvah.  Uncle Kurt is forty-six, but he's decided that converting to the Jewish faith and having a Bar Mitzvah is the next important milestone in his life.  The family has gathered, of course, to show their support.

Somehow Ingrid has become the center of the conversation at the Kid Table.  Brianne, a psychology major, has declared that Ingrid is a psychopath.  She is ticking off a list of behaviors she insists verify her diagnosis.  Ingrid finds it difficult to defend herself as she listens to Brianne recount the sudden and mysterious deaths of so many of Ingrid's beloved pets over the years.  Just because her dog Long John died of old age while asleep at the foot of her bed, doesn't make his death her responsibility.  Or does it?

As these older "kids" find themselves attending family events like the Bar Mitzvah, Thanksgiving, New Year's Brunch, and more, this cast of cousins reveals all their unique and interesting characteristics.  One cousin's anorexia is becoming more apparent, another is most definitely gay, and yet another's changing behavior and dress are crying out for some sort of attention.  As Ingrid tells their story, she battles with her own guilt about possibly being in love with her older cousin's boyfriend.

Author Andrea Seigel brings back many a childhood memory for readers who can recall their own experiences while dining at the Kid Table.  These infrequent holiday get-togethers offer cousins a chance to catch up, cause a little mischief, and also reveal the growing pains and stress of getting older and someday living up to family expectations.  Quirky characters mixed up in sometimes all-to-real situations make THE KID TABLE a memorable and enjoyable read.

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