Before the Feast by Saša Stanišić

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Before the Feast Cover Draft 092215.indd

Before the Feast (translated by Anthea Bell) is about the small village of Fürstenfeld and the goings on the night before their annual feast. While most of the village is asleep, several members are awake not only dealing with their own demons, but demons of the past. It compares the village of Fürstenfeld as it once was to how it and it’s inhabitants have changed over the years with stunningly beautiful and brilliant prose.

Saša Stanišić’s writing is magical and I loved the way his sentences flowed across the page. All of the characters were interesting, which was good since the story jumped between them often, and I enjoyed reading about the history of Fürstenfeld and how the past and the present tied together. It reminded me of Stardew Valley and how you learn each characters story as you interact with them thought the game’s progression. I wish I knew how to explain this book in a better way, but it’s one of those books that’s just tough to explain beyond saying: You should read this.

I wouldn’t say there was anything I necessarily disliked about the book, but I will say that I wish there was more. While a good portion of the book was tied up nicely at the end, there was still a chunk that I felt was left unanswered and needed a little more to it. But it’s definitely a book I would like to reread to see if I understand more of it the second time around.