Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Review: The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle

Title: The Dinner List
Author: Rebecca Serle
Published: September 2018, Flatiron Books
Format: ARC Paperback, 288 pages
Source: Publisher

We’ve been waiting for an hour. That’s what Audrey says. She states it with a little bit of an edge, her words just bordering on cursive. That’s the thing I think first. Not: Audrey Hepburn is at my birthday dinner, but Audrey Hepburn is annoyed.

At one point or another, we’ve all been asked to name five people, living or dead, with whom we’d like to have dinner. Why do we choose the people we do? And what if that dinner was to actually happen? These are the questions Rebecca Serle contends within her utterly captivating novel, The Dinner List, a story imbued with the same delightful magical realism as One Day,and the life-changing romance of Me Before You.

When Sabrina arrives at her thirtieth birthday dinner she finds at the table not just her best friend, but also three significant people from her past, and well, Audrey Hepburn. As the appetizers are served, wine poured, and dinner table conversation begins, it becomes clear that there’s a reason these six people have been gathered together.

Delicious but never indulgent, sweet with just the right amount of bitter, The Dinner List is a romance for our times. Bon appetit.

My thoughts:  This book was such a charming read, yet it was also a thought-provoking one, too. It's centered around that age-old question - which five people, living or dead, would you invite to dinner? And it certainly had me pondering this question, musing over my choices as I read the book. 

Right from the start, I was captivated by this tale - after all, Audrey Hepburn is a character! She's one of my all-time favorite movie stars and my favorite movie happens to be Sabrina, which our main character is named. I do enjoy her other movies - Breakfast at Tiffany's and Roman Holiday, though I haven't seen her others. But, I will be rectifying that immediately!

What started out as a cheeky project to get her best friend off her back while they were living together back in college ended up coming to fruition and never in her wildest dreams would Sabrina have imagined it coming true. She was tasked with coming up with five people she would invite to dinner one day and while she ended up changing that list as time went on, the people at the table on her 30th birthday are: her father, her ex-fiance Tobias, her college professor, her best-friend, and Audrey Hepburn. 

I loved the way this book was told. It alternates from scenes at Sabrina's 30th birthday dinner and the past, where we learn all about Sabrina and Tobias' relationship. I felt that this was such a great way to tell the story because both parts seemed to lead into each other, if that makes sense. The dinner scenes were poignant and as we got further on into the night, we find out just why each of the guests have been invited - there is significance for each of them being there. The past scenes are told in a certain way and help Sabrina come to terms with some important things that have gone on in her life.

Going into this book, I thought it was going to be light and fun, but it turned out to be so much more than that. It's a bittersweet tale of love, loss and forgiveness yet it's also charming and whimsical and I couldn't have loved it more.

So, who are my five? I'd invite my Nana, my 6th grade teacher, Jackie Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt and Audrey Hepburn. Who would your five be?


1 comment

  1. I am really interested in this book. No idea when I will get to it though


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