Can you escape from your past or are you predestined to live each day thinking about its effect on your life? #the peacockfeast @lisa.gornick.5 @fsgbooks @NetGalley #louisctiffany #laureltonhall #oysterbay #familysaga @absltmom

Welcome to Monday and my review of the book The Peacock Feast. Is that not a most gorgeous cover?

The Peacock Feast

Family sagas can encompass so many feelings, so much emotional turmoil, and so much questioning whether you have made over the course of a lifetime, the right decisions.

In The Peacock Feast we learn of the webs of the Tiffany Family and the stories of one group of people who worked for them. Tiffany was garish, wealthy, and use to having things exactly how he wanted them. He had a definite affinity for peacocks and had many strolling his grounds. He even went so far as having a peacock feast one year inviting the male denizens of the time and dressing children in peacock feather and even a peacock head. No women were included at this feast because Tiffany demanded decorum and the presence of women denied that from happening.

This man used to getting everything he desired. He decided he wanted a piece of beach in Oyster Bay to go with his home, Laurelton Hall, and had his workmen dynamite the area to change the flow of the ocean. With this action, he set in motion a series of events that were both tragic and heart rending.

Laurelton Hall

We are introduced to Prudence, daughter of the Tiffany gardener and one of the maids, the youngest child of three children. As Prudence, now nearing one hundred meets her great niece, Grace, for the first time, the events of Prudence and Randall, her long lost brother begin to unfold. Grace presents Prudence with a box with keepsakes from her long lost brother and so starts a telling of the stories of both Prudence and Randall across the decades.

This was a tragic story of lives that traversed from Europe to America, and from New York to California. It spoke of how our lives so easily fall into a pattern and many times the choices we make, seem to be destined for us, as if we are fitted into a mold of destiny.

Told with compassion and the goal of letting us really see these characters, Ms Gornick created a story of intense wealth and abject sadness and heartbreak. Decisions we make, things we do, make a life that can be full and worthwhile, but can also make one of poignancy and woe.

Recommended to those who so enjoy a family saga that spans the century.

Thank you to Lisa Gornick, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and NetGalley for a copy of this moving novel. 

This book is due to be published on February 5, 2019

Original 1920s Photograph of the Daffodil Terrace as part of Laurelton Hall
Daffodil Terrace
Archival Photo Depicting the Laurelton Hall Dining Room in 1946
Dining Room
Louis Comfort Tiffany, the Morse Museum, Orlando, Florida
Front Reception Hall
Tiffany Studios Vase from the Reception Hall at Laurelton Hall
Vase seen pictured above
Autumn Four Seasons Panel on Display at the Morse Museum of American Art
Four seasons panel
Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933)
Louis Comfort Tiffany

and here’s the author:

Lisa Gornick has been hailed by NPR as “one of the most perceptive, compassionate writers of fiction in America…immensely talented and brave.” She is the author of 4 novels: TINDERBOX, LOUISA MEETS BEAR, and THE PEACOCK FEAST—all published by Sarah Crichton Books/ Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and Picador; and A PRIVATE SORCERY, published by Algonquin. Her stories and essays have appeared widely, including in The New York Times, Prairie Schooner, Real Simple, Salon, Slate, and The Sun. She holds a B.A. from Princeton and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Yale, and is on the faculty of the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. A longtime New Yorker, she lives in Manhattan with her family.

10 thoughts on “Can you escape from your past or are you predestined to live each day thinking about its effect on your life? #the peacockfeast @lisa.gornick.5 @fsgbooks @NetGalley #louisctiffany #laureltonhall #oysterbay #familysaga @absltmom

    1. I do think you might, Stephanie. It did encourage me to investigate Louis Tiffany and his former Oyster Bay estate. My mother would often take my sister and I to the beach there to swim and get away from the heat. I never realized that this place was his former home.
      The writing was quite good but the drawback for me was the back and forth between characters and time periods.
      It was a four star book for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll give it a try! I do love historical fiction too. Oh, well that’s an interesting thing to learn when reading the book! I didn’t know that either about Oyster Bay (I’ve not visited it either but have heard of it). If it was 4 stars, then I should enjoy it I would think.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I love the sound of this one and have never heard of it! I wonder why I haven’t seen it on GR? Love the added photos you posted too. Hope it wasn’t too heartbreaking though .<3

    Liked by 1 person

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