The Last Suppers by Mandy Mikulencak is as timely as it is remarkable. Book Groups members looking for a book that will touch the heart, provide food for thought and deliver an abundance of points for discussion should consider this novel, which publishes on December 26, 2017.
Although The Suppers is a historical novel set in 1950s Louisiana, many of its themes are extremely relevant. Basic principles of justice including impartial trials, fair treatment of prisoners, and the death penalty are emotionally depicted. Issues of racial and sexual equality; the safety of women and children are as important now as they were then.
In The Last Suppers, protagonist Ginny Polk chooses to return to Louisiana’s Greenmount State Penitentiary and work in the prison as the head cook. While there, she volunteers to research, prepare, cook, and deliver a last meal to prisoners prior to their execution. She discovers the harsh brutality of prison life, yet also finds hidden depth of humanity in some of the convicted as they share the simple grace of a meal.
These discoveries cause Ginny to question her memories of her own turbulent and violent past, which lead to heartbreaking revelations.
A memorable read.
Four out of five stars.
I received a complimentary copy of The Last Suppers courtesy of the Kensington Books through Goodreads.