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I loved the book and the movie. I read the book one day and watched the movie the next. And cried during the feast in the movie which was different than I had imagined it while reading that part but still poignant just the same. I felt sorry for the girls but less so for Babette. I guess because she was able to experience life a little more. The book was easier to romanticise. The movie was harsher. I found myself averting my gaze a few times.
My blog post on the story can be read by clicking my name. Thank you for a most enjoyable read.

B R Wombat

I'd never read any Isak Dinesen before, and I loved it. I don't think I can add anything to your summary except to say I enjoyed the rather cruel joke about the turtle.

Julie Fredericksen

I agree with B. R. Wombat in saying that I don't think I can add to your summary. And, like Jodi, I loved it. I had thought there would have been more description of the sumptous feast, but in the end it didn't matter. The people at the feast were refreshed by far more than food. Now I am really eager to read "Out of Africa".

Julie Fredericksen

Sorry. I do know how to spell sumptuous.


If you can rent the movie do. The feast scene is spectacular and goes into quite a detail.

Mr Cornflower

I read the book in much less time than the lucky diners took over their feast, and greatly enjoyed it. To compress such a rich tale into so few words takes real skill.

Dark Puss

Like Mr Cornflower I too read this fairly rapidly over a period of about 90 minutes. I haven't seen the film but I have seen the one-act opera so I had a pretty good idea of the story. I liked it and appreciated the skill of the writing and the splendedly portrayed strength through misery aspect of the Lutherans which I am sorry to say some of my friends ascribe to me on occasion! In some respects, scene and character changes and sparseness of detail etc., this struck me to me like a pitch for a film (or a play) so I'm not surprised it has been made into one that is by all accounts excellent.


I thought the movie was beautiful but haven't read the book. I didn't realise it was written by Karen Blixen!


What a great book! A clever and well thought-out plot set in a believable setting made this fairytale a very satisfying read.

It reminded me of 'The Elegance of the Hedgehog' and I can't praise it higher than that.

Julie Fredericksen

"Lutheran strength through misery", indeed, DP!

Residents of Minot, ND, which is about 90 miles north of me, are exemplifying that characteristic as they stoically endure the 500-year flood of the Souris River. Like me, most of the Minot residents are Lutheran and Norwegian, and we're all definitely North Dakotan, three "traits" that certainly define my character. To read about the flood in Minot and the lesser flood on the Missouri here in Bismarck, visit my blog by clicking on my name.


I have never read anything by Isak Dinesen either. I was late getting organized this month. My local librarian informed me that Babette's feast was a short story that Isak Dinesen had written for the Ladies Home Journal, circa 1958 and he was unable to help me.

I was unable to find a written copy of the book and I was beginning to think that I had left it too late but I was able to download an audio version of the story.

I am so glad that I made the effort to find a copy of the book, Colleen Dewhurst read and I spend two hours totally absorbed with the story.

It was a good choice Cornflower and you covered everything in your excellent summery.


I also read it rapidly, but in small chunks, between jobs/interruptions whilst on a night shift. It was the perfect thing for the slightly other-worldly state of mind that nights bring on and I liked the vaguely magical feel of the feast, the reserve of the sisters and the dark past of Babette.
She has such a talent to pack all that into a short story and leave readers satisfied, not feeling short-changed. Wonderful choice, thank you


Awful scenes, there Julie. Those poor people will need all their strength of character in coping with that.

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