Author: Rebecca Serle
Published: September 11, 2018
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Where I picked up my book: Free from publisher (THANK YOU)
Key Words: Fantasy, Magical Realism, Romance
My Rating: 4 stars
Synopsis (via Goodreads):
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.
This is a magical book that left me thinking long after I read the last sentence. What 5 people would you invite to a dinner party, dead or alive? What would you want to talk about? Would you make it an exciting, fun party full of laughter, good times, joking around and just a purely enjoyable time? Or would you get serious here and try to make some changes, either in the world at large, or in your own world? Or would it be a mix of both? I’ve been putting together my list and surprisingly, it’s bringing up a lot of emotions that I wasn’t expecting would happen after reading this book. First, I’d have Oprah, because duh. And I’d definitely have Obama because also…duh. I’d probably have my parents (we haven’t spoken in almost 9 years. Long story short-I’m gay. They are uber Christian. It’s painful and sad, but I want to definitely be a part of the conversation that my parents, Oprah and Obama would have.) And then I think I’d have my wife there. She’s my rock, a stable person in my life (the most stable), and my grounding force when I get crazy, erratic and hysterical. (shhh…that never happens 😉 ). I could just imagine this scenario and all the feels I’d be feeling. I think I’d want/need her as a grounding force. So there you have it-my 5 people. But can Michelle come too? I feel like her and Barack should count as one. So…Oprah, my parents, the Obama’s, and my wife. Done 🙂 Oprah, Obama’s…if you’re listening, let’s make it happen.
The book looks at various relationships throughout the plot and all are important to Sabrina (the main character) and all are important to us as the reader. The one relationship that I kept holding onto most was the friendship between Sabrina and her best friend, Jessica. Maybe I’m at the stage in my life where friendships are getting harder and harder to maintain as some of us move away, live in different cities in Colorado, get married, start having children, buy houses, get into the meat of our jobs, etc. but it just had me thinking long after I finished the book about my personal friendships. My friends mean a lot to me. As I stated earlier, I do not have family in my life anymore, and my friends have truly become my family. They are my support system and my people I go to for all sorts of things in my life. If you’re close to your mom…picture all the times you go to her to talk, for advice, to pass something by her, to go shopping with, to have a cup of coffee with, etc. This is what I do with my best friends. But similar to Sabrina and Jessica, I feel like it’s becoming progressively harder to maintain those tight friendships like I once did. Life is busy and the days of hanging with my friends for days a time, talking, laughing (and probably drinking) are over and it sort of feels like adulthood is settling in and we are being forced to find a new normal as we settle into life . It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I just want to make sure to be vigilant of these changes and ensure we don’t lose them altogether. All this to say, I miss my friends, I look at my younger self and good times fondly, and could 100% relate to Sabrina and Jessica in the book.
If you like your fiction with a side of magic, grab this book-you won’t be disappointed. And the best part is…it’s out today for all to enjoy! Let me know what you think after reading it!
HERE is the link to get yourself a copy!