“An Unexpected Guest” is a lovingly detailed account of a day in the life of the wife of a British diplomat in Paris. But what a day! She deals with protocol, place settings, and a temperamental cook, and at the same time a troubled son, an Irish complication, and a suspected Turkish terrorist. Virginia Woolf meets Eric Ambler — and readers meet a charming heroine who rises to all occasions.”
~John Casey, author
The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje
In the early 1950s, an eleven-year-old boy in Colombo boards a ship bound for England. At mealtimes he is seated at the “cat’s table”—as far from the Captain’s Table as can be—with a ragtag group of “insignificant” adults and two other boys, Cassius and Ramadhin. As the ship crosses the Indian Ocean, the boys tumble from one adventure to another, bursting all over the place like freed mercury. But there are other diversions as well: they are first exposed to the magical worlds of jazz, women, and literature by their eccentric fellow travelers, and together they spy on a shackled prisoner, his crime and fate a galvanizing mystery that will haunt them forever. By turns poignant and electrifying, The Cat’s Table is a spellbinding story about the magical, often forbidden, discoveries of childhood, and a lifelong journey that begins unexpectedly with a spectacular sea voyage.