The Norwegian table, a century-old heirloom ingrained with family memory, has become a totem of a life Saffee would rather forget—a childhood disrupted by her mother’s mental illness.
Saffee does not want the table. By the time she inherits the object of her mother’s obsession, the surface is thick with haphazard layers of paint and heavy with unsettling memories.
After a childhood spent watching her mother slide steadily into insanity, painting and re-painting the ancient table, Saffee has come to fear that seeds of psychosis may lie dormant within her. She must confront her mother’s torment if she wants to defend herself against it.
Traversing four generations over the course of a century, The Painted Table is a beautiful portrait of inherited memory. It is a sprawling narrative affirmation that a family artifact—like a family member—can bear the marks of one’s past . . . as well as intimations of one’s redemption.
The Painted Table is the debut book by author Suzanne Field and WOW.....what a debut book! When I received the information on this book, I felt drawn to read it and I am very glad I did. Joann grew up in a large family and lost her mother at a very young age. Her mother died of mental illness in an asylum, something that haunts Joann from the time she can remember. Joann spends her childhoon hiding under "The Norwegian Table" as her safe place including to keep her safe from a fire. Joann meets and marries Nels. They have a daughter Saffee when Nels is drafted. During leave time Joann gets pregnant again and by the time he is back they have another daughter, April. Saffee is quiet, reserved, and stays to herself. April is the opposite and their mother, Joann is drawn to that. Saffee has always known there was something different about her mother but anytime she asked her dad, he said she was fine so to Saffee this was normal. Eventually "The Norwegian Table" finds its way back into Joann's life and she becomes obsessed. Painting and repainting trying to cover it up and make it new.
The Painted Table is a fantastic story about family and mental illness. The Painted Table is a book that shows the effects of mental illness on the whole family and how it affects everyone involved throughout their lives. Our family has history of mental health issues and this book really spoke to me on many levels. Suzanne Field's wrote a beautiful story about something that affects many families for generations. I was drawn into this book from the start, I could not put it down. The Painted Table is a book that takes the reader through an emotional rollercoaster. I found myself laughing in parts and sobbing in others. Suzanne Field's gives readers a real look into mental illness, a topic that has been taboo for a long time. She writes with authority on mental illness, Norway, Norwegian culture, and the world from the Late 1800's -1973. I really felt like I was there watching the story unfold as I read. This is not an easy book to read but it is definitely worth the read! I can't say enough good about it! I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction or books on mental illness, you will not be disappointed. I cannot wait to read more from Suzanne Field!
I give this book 5 STARS. *****
Suzanne Field is celebrating her novel The Painted Table with a beautiful hand-painted table giveaway!
One winner will receive:
- A beautiful hand-painted table (see it here: http://etsy.me/15L90cD)
- The Painted Table by Suzanne Field