Thanksgiving by Ellen Cooney


One family. One table. One meal. 350 years.This dramatic, highly inventive novel presents the story of one family through many generations, as Thanksgiving dinner is prepared.The narrative moves swiftly and richly through time and changes as we experience the lives of the Morleys against the background of historical events. This is history that comes fully alive, for we become part of the family ourselves, sharing their fortunes and tragedies, kn...

Details Thanksgiving

Release DateSep 16th, 2013
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Holiday

Reviews Thanksgiving

  • Ellie
    One family. One house. 350 years.Thanksgiving is a great concept brilliantly executed. The book tells the story of the Morley family and its variously waxing and waiting fortunes, over the course of 350 years, and fifteen generations, seen through the eyes of the women of the house as they prepare for the family Thanksgiving celebrations.Starting in 1662, when the Pilgrims' arrival in America was still within living memory, we meet Patience and C...
  • Angela
    Thanksgiving by Ellen Cooney tells the story of a Massachusetts’ house and its inhabitants, especially the women, over a period of three hundred and fifty years. It also focuses on the celebration of Thanksgiving and the preparation of food for this important occasion. However, this excellent novel is so much more than a list of menus and how the Morley women prepared the food for their families over a period of years. We learn about these wome...
  • Heidi
    I loved how all the stories had little ties to each other and how the old family stories changed and evolved with each generation. The turkey story and then later the turkey song stayed the same and changed at the same time and kept getting passed down as an important family memory. At first I wasn't sure I was going to like it because it felt bleak and hard with all the loss but it also felt true to the times it was representing. I also liked ho...
  • Gabby
    **Thanksgiving** by Ellen CooneyI received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I can define this book in 6 words: *She Had Me At The Turkey* That means from the very beginning I was hooked. Not after meeting all the characters. Barely after settling into Cooney's writing style. Nearly before I could notice anything else about the book. Nope. From the very beginning. And the rest of the way, throughout the stories o...
  • Nancy
    Loved Ellen Cooney’s “Thanksgiving” as she relates one family’s autumn celebration from 1662 to 2012. Focusing on the women of the Morley family living in Massachusetts, each chapter highlights a key Thanksgiving dinner ingredient or table service. The chapters, generally spaced 15-30 years apart, proceed through three-and-a-half centuries.Cooney’s creative presentation also chronicles the Morley family home from 17th century simplicity...
  • Don Trowden
    An outstanding example of what original fiction can pull off in ways no other art form can match. We get inside the heads of a succession of Morley women, all of whom are strong and wise as seen within the contexts of their time periods. We jump forward through generations as they carry their truths and their lies with them, many of these relics from the corrupted past being the simple inanimate objects and family possessions alive with their own...
  • Sharon Hopper
    I found this to be a delightful story of a house and family constant throughout generations from the 1700s to the present time. The focus of the story was Thanksgiving and the trials, celebrations, issues and family relationships that wind throughout generations. It was an easy, soothing read that highlighted historical issues throughout the family's storytelling. The strongest protagonists were the women of the family and the theme, for me, cent...
  • Lynn
    I read this as an ARC courtesy of Net Galley. I believe it is available as an e-book only.This is an utterly delightful look at one American family celebrating Thanksgiving through the years, from colonial times through the present. Looking critically at the role of women and how it has changed. The ups and downs of relationships. Cooney uses humor and empathy to give us an engaging and compelling look at the Morleys as they hold on to their hist...
  • Davida Chazan
    In Ellen Cooney's novel "Thanksgiving," she follows the Morley women over 350 years, using their ancestral home and the food they prepared for their Thanksgiving table as the focal points. This is a totally unique idea that has been very well executed. You can read my full review here
  • Lindsay Nelson
    OkayThis book was so so. It had interesting history and how each dish evolved into the next generation. However, it was really slow and I had a difficult time staying interested.
  • Kathy Cowie
    This Thanksgiving, I would like to give thanks to Ellen Cooney, who wrote an amazing, profoundly beautiful story of one family sharing this meal through many generations. I found the framework of the novel especially compelling — 350 years of Thanksgivings in the Morley family. Each section has a different part of the meal as its theme, and about a decade passes between them. We are introduced to characters at birth; then watch as they grow up,...
  • Gaele
    A charming story that follows one family over a 350 year period: told in the viewpoint of the women in the family, focusing on a tradition or an element of the family gathering at Thanksgiving. What could have been overwhelming in scope, Ellen Cooney manages to jump forward in time for each chapter: detailing the home and the family, without great loss of constancy. Part of the similarity appears in the voices of the women used to narrate each ch...
  • Terri
    Thanksgiving, by Ellen Cooney, tells the story of the Morley family through 350 years, told through the eyes of various women in the family lineage. I found the book to be carefully researched and full of interesting details that flow from one generation to another, such as a pair of eyeglasses that are dropped along a creek bed and found many years later. Numerous historical events are noted, and this backdrop of American history in the lives of...
  • Jenny
    It all begins with the killing of a turkey on a cold November morning in 1662. This is where the legend starts that will follow the Morley family through the course of 350 years, seen through the eyes of the women of the family as they prepare for Thanksgiving dinner. Whereas remembering is generally a process aimed at a past, in Elizabeth Cooney's quiet, beautiful novel memory travels forward, is being inherited and re-shaped into legend, is hel...
  • Sandy
    This was a solid 4.5 Star read for me.This novel presents the story of one family through many generations, as Thanksgiving dinner is prepared.The story covers 350 years of Thanksgivings for one family, one home, one table through many generations - beginning in 1662. The short stories are spaced years apart so that the reader can observe the progression of the family status, circumstances and how lives change over the generations. It was very in...
  • Kara
    Revised 12/6/13This was an extremely enjoyable -- even refreshing -- leisure-time read! Finishing it was the perfect way to relax before the holiday as it turns out. There's nothing insubstantial about the book, however; I have just rarely encountered a novel situated anywhere near this particular genre niche that moves so swiftly (and smoothly, for that matter). Ellen Cooney ushers the reader through Thanksgiving observances over hundreds of yea...
  • Nikki
    When I saw that Ellen Cooney was appearing at my local library, I wanted to read one of her books before meeting her. I chose this one because I could get it quickly on Kindle and the synopsis appealed to me. I was not disappointed. Thanksgiving, although it is quite different in many ways, reminded me of books I loved as a teenager -- novels by Norah Lofts including Bless This House, The House at Old Vine, and The House at Sunset. In Thanksgivin...
  • PopcornReads
    Normally we have only reviewed novels that could be purchased in print and as e-books; however, I decided to make an exception for Thanksgiving by Ellen Cooney because the concept was such an unusual one. The Thanksgiving holiday holds very complex meaning for those of us who live in the U.S. What if you traced one family’s evolution from its origins in this country to the present day but only used events surrounding the Thanksgiving meal as yo...
  • Nancy Rossman
    You know how they say that the tryptophan in turkey makes you sleepy after the feast? Well, if only I had some turkey right now it might MIGHT make this read worthwhile ... being it's about 350 yrs worth of thanksgiving. Such a huge undertaking that she shouldn't have even tried. What a yawner. What a boring collection of short stories about multiple generations in which the descriptions are so brief, so one dimensional I never felt empathy or an...
  • Denice Barker
    This book blew me away. It was a fascinating story of one family, in one house, at one time of year for 350 years. Thanksgiving was the vehicle that carried the story, each chapter named for an element of a Thanksgiving dinner starting with the turkey. Through cranberries, glasses, dishes, vegetables, rolls, etc. we learn about one family, one history. The elements of the dinner are sometimes barely mentioned but the story is carried along genera...
  • Rebecca L.
    It's September, which means that Halloween decorations are showcasing store shelves and television is filled with all sorts of ghosts, goblins, and zombies to scare us. October is right around the corner and by its end, red, green, and gold-glittered everything will be on display for a shopping experience comprised of things we don't need and never knew we wanted until the flashy advertising entranced us into thinking our lives would be improved ...
  • Lindsay Wilcox
    I really enjoyed this novel. I love following long-term stories (Harry Potter, the Baby-sitters Club back in the day, even long-running TV series), so to track one family through the generations was particularly pleasant. The writing is earthy and lyrical at the same time. The characters are believable and incredibly three-dimensional considering their limited screen time. It took over 300 years to get dinner ready, but I was still looking forwar...
  • Misti
    This was our book club pick for November. I thought I would really love it when I started reading it. I liked the idea of each chapter showing a little snippet of Thanksgiving on various years throughout the generations of a family. I liked how the chapters were named for the different foods being prepared and I liked the links that were shown between different family members who may have been years apart. I found it difficult though to keep trac...
  • PfromJ
    I've often picked up an old coin and thought of all the people who might have handled it...or what it was used to purchase. But then the coin gets thrown into a jar or drawer with lots of other miscellaneous stuff and is forgotten. You'd think that a historic house would be different -- that a family lucky enough to walk through the rooms and sit at the same dining table their ancestors used hundreds of years ago would marvel at having such deep ...
  • Ann
    Wish I had 6 *'s to give this fantastic book. It's an ePub I got on NetGalley and I can't wait to read more books by This author. I've never read anything with this wonderful unique story line. It follows the week of thanksgiving in the same house from the pilgrims to present day. Download this book from Publerati Books . You can't help wondering what will the American revolution do to this family. Will they survive the wars and great events in h...
  • Caitlin
    "Leave your husband when he hurts you, use ice cold butter in your pie crust, and accept that truth is harder to pluck from history than a feather from a fresh turkey. These are just a few of the lessons learned in Ellen Cooney’s novel, Thanksgiving, a book that follows the women of the Morley family from 1662 right up to the present day." Full review up at Necessary Fiction:
  • Donna Peake
    This is a book about a family of Pilgrims who came to Massachusetts, the home they have lived in for 350 years. Told through the eyes of the women of the family and the meal they served for Thanksgiving and all those who attend the dinner.One of the women desires to have the home put on the Historical Register. Too much cosmetic work has been done on the home for it to qualify. But the tales the walls tell of the Morely family that has lived in i...
  • Sharon Chance
    This is a fascinating look at generation after generation of one family and the history of our country as they lived through it. Author Ellen Cooney proves herself to be a masterful storyteller with this unique novel. And it's perfect reading material for this time of year! I highly recommend this novel. One note - there is some language and adult situations in this story, so I would suggest it for mature readers.
  • Barbara
    I loved how the author used the Thanksgiving meal in the same house to tell a multigenerational story of one family over 350 years. Because the women prepare the meal, the family history unfolds through their eyes. You get a sense of how the family dynamics play out against the backdrop of each historical era. And each new generation is as interesting as the last. I did not want this book to end.
  • Chris
    This was a book club choice. The concept is good but the book is a real downer, particularly for a Thanksgiving book.