'This may make the book sound like a rather grim, depressing tale, but the beauty of Vanderbeke's narrative is the highly nuanced and intelligent "voice" which lets us "read between the lines" and catch glimpses, not just of the terror at the heart of these people's lives, but of the hope and wit too.' Reading Matters

 

'Amazing that it has taken 23 years for this book to reach us in English.It still has an impact but at the time would have been electrifying and timely.' Winstonsdad's Blog

 

'So my advice would be; make a pot of coffee, find a quiet corner and get stuck in!' A fiction habit

 

'It's a book that begs to be discussed and ought to be pressed on the young - it's just the book I'd like to see being given out on world book day...' Desperate Reader

 

'A wonderfully controlled piece of writing.' Follow the Thread

 

'Everything that they were to scared to air in the cold light of day is revealed and as though performing an exorcism, they haltingly lay the spirit that has dominated their lives for so long.' The Parrish Lantern

 

''The Mussels Feast is an explosive and compelling drama where nothing really happens.' Annexe Magazine

 

'This is a powerful, darkly comic novella...Good literature is thought-provoking and esoteric in nature. I spent a couple of days thinking about this slim book after I turned the final page and found that I appreciated it more after giving it time to percolate in my mind.' Caribousmom

 

'It is an incredible piece of literature in both its power and its story – rich, dark, engaging and elegant in its telling.' Kirsty Hewitt, Nudge

 

'The Mussel Feast is the first of this year's 'Turning Point' series from Peirene - and what a way to start! In detail, it's about a family bending itself to the slightest whim of a repressive parent; in wider context it could apply to any situation in which one person or idea is allowed to gain dominance over others.' Our Bookreviews Online

 

'The Mussel Feast is a glorious book. Everything I could possibly want in a novel is somewhere in here: the language is taut, the symbolism is heavy, and there is nothing superfluous. It may have taken twenty years, but English-speaking readers can finally read a classic novel that lives up to its label.' A Novel Approach
 

'It’s a racing, powerful, heart-pounding read, and a reminder that so many seemingly perfect families hide dark, fearful truths beneath their surface.' SkyLightRain
 

'A wonderful sense of foreboding mounts as the father is increasingly late; mirroring Beside the Sea in the way an ordinary situation slowly becomes unbearably tense.' Farmlanebooks
 

'While the book fits nicely into Peirene's collection with its content and length, its style is also reminiscent of its stable-mates. The book consists of one unbroken paragraph, with a few long sentences, broken up into waves of short clauses. The effect of this style (reminiscent of Portrait of the Mother as a Young Woman, Peirene No 3) is to produce a sense of urgency and intensity ...In terms of content though, The Mussel Feast is more similar to Next World Novella, Peirene No 4. Both works deal with the unravelling of a lie, the unmasking of a tyrant, in a way over which he has no control.' Tony's Reading List

 

'The narration, which comes in a breathless, intuitively meandering first person from the teenage daughter, rings true with all the little asides and explanations that one would give in telling a secret family story, and I loved the intimacy that created between myself and the characters within it.' Tolstoy is my Cat

 

'Another idiosyncratic aspect of this writing is there no direct speech. Writing classes are taught that dialogue moves the action on, and too much exposition turns the reader off. Teachers who say this should read The Mussel Feast. ' bookword