The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle
Thank you to Flatiron Books for my free advance copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Goodreads Synopsis: For fans of Me Before You and One Day comes a wondrous novel of first love, loss, and the dinner of a lifetime.
When Sabrina Nielsen arrives at her thirtieth birthday dinner she finds at the table not just her best friend, but also her favorite professor from college, her father, her ex-fiance, Tobias, and Audrey Hepburn.
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 Sabrina contends with in Rebecca Serle’s utterly captivating novel, The Dinner List, a story imbued with the same delightful magical realism as Sliding Doors, and The Rosie Project.
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, and as Rebecca Serle masterfully traces Sabrina’s love affair with Tobias and her coming of age in New York City, The Dinner List grapples with the definition of romance, the expectations of love, and how we navigate our way through it to happiness. Oh, and of course, wisdom from Audrey Hepburn.
Delicious but never indulgent, sweet with just the right amount of bitter, The Dinner List is a modern romance for our times. Bon appetit.
Review: I’m often hesitant to step out of my comfort zone and read books like this one, but I was pleasantly surprised by this heart wrenching novel. I really didn’t know what to expect, but I was not anticipating that I would be so emotionally invested. The chapters alternate between the dinner and Sabrina’s life and relationships in the years prior. This writing style makes it impossible to put down. I won’t say much as I don’t want to give anything away, but there’s a reveal right around the middle of the book that literally made my jaw hit the table. I can’t say how (not because I don’t want to discuss it, but because it would be a spoiler), but the turning point in this novel was so relatable to an experience of my own that I actually teared up multiple times. And this is coming from someone that is NOT a cryer (unless it has to do with a dog). When I picked up The Dinner List, I never would have imagined it would touch me the way that it did. It’s a new favorite and I would actually love to see a movie adaptation.
For once I completely agree with the blurb, and would recommend The Dinner List to fans of Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.
Genre: Fiction/Magical Realism
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: September 11, 2018
Page Count: 288
Overall Rating: 5/5