Gaskell's TABLE FOR SEVEN had me hitting highs and lows as I read it and initially I wasn't sure it would be a book that I liked. As I got to know the characters more deeply as well as where they were coming from based on their current lives and situations they became real to me. I could feel their energy as if I was there including the hurt, anger, disdain, love, friendships, sorrows, happiness, sadness and even fear. There was so much discord between the couples and sometimes the friends it was surprising to see them return to the dinner parties as often as they did. They were at times supportive of each other and other times dismissive but I felt that their behaviors, attitudes and beliefs could have been felt by many today. Watching the various participants fall apart, break up, get back together or even divorce was often times gut wrenching. Many of their actions were misread by the others but other times were spot on. Leland was a gentleman throughout and helped keep the group together.
The book had some closure but I felt it would have been better if there were at least another chapter or two for me to get the author's take on where their lives were going and were there really going to be a couple of happily ever afters after all they went through? I felt there were a few loose ends that needed to be tied up better.
Gaskell is a new to me author but after reading the praise for her other novels in the front of the book and the excerpt from her book, WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT, I look forward to giving her other books a try. I would like to see better closure though in the others.