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The Thanksgiving Door: 06/22/10
The Thanksgiving Door by Debby Atwell from the themed shelf my library set up last November. I picked it for its title. Typically Thanksgiving books involve turkeys, pilgrims and the occasional cornucopia. I've never seen a door mentioned in any other titles. So from that alone, I picked the book.
An older married couple with no immediate family in the area have a burned turkey and no enthusiasm for a Thanksgiving meal when it's just the two of them. They decide to go out to dinner and end up inviting themselves to a family dinner being held at the closed restaurant. The door had been left ajar and they took it mean that the restaurant was open.
I've never gone out to dinner for Thanksgiving but I do know of restaurants that cater to older patrons typically plan special meals on the holidays. Where I felt the most connection with the book though was at the long chaotic table where the family has combined their traditional dishes with typical American Thanksgiving dishes. My mother in law in the past has invited graduated students and other people who didn't have anywhere else to go for the holiday to her table.
The Thanksgiving Door is a gem of a book. It's by far the best Thanksgiving story I've read and refreshingly different from the typical Thanksgiving. It focuses on the way the holiday is actually celebrated and embraced in this country, instead on the glorified history we've written to justify the holiday.