If you could invite anyone to dinner, dead or alive, who would you invite? I’ve often wondered how lovely it would be to spend an evening talking to the grandparents I either never knew, or those who died when I was a children. In The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle we meet Sabrina, it’s her birthday and unbeknown to her she’s going to spend the evening at her fantasy dinner party. Published through Atlantic Books this week, this novel is bound to make you think about who you’d like to dine with too.
Based in New York, we meet Sabrina as she arrives at her thirtieth birthday dinner, it’s 7.30pm and she’s been keeping Audrey Hepburn waiting for an hour. Sabrina is slightly taken aback, she was expecting to meet up with her long time best friend Jessica, but wasn’t expecting all the guests from the dinner list of her dreams to be present. Along with Audrey Hepburn and Jessica, she sees her father Robert who died some years before, Conrad, her college philosophy professor as well as her boyfriend Tobias. It’s rather an eclectic mix of characters.
When Sabrina and Jessica were at college, she’d put together a list of all the people she’d like to have dinner with. But why are they all here now? The story moves from the dinner table back over the last ten years starting when the girls were back in college and Sabrina first comes into contact with Tobias. It becomes clear that each of the dinner guests has played a key role in Sabrina’s life and have helped to shape her character. It’s also apparent that they’ve assembled on her birthday for a good reason.
In The Dinner List we learn that Sabrina’s father was an alcoholic who left her and her mother when she was small. He met someone else, turned his life around and had two more daughters, who Sabrina has never met. The pair have a lot to discuss over the dinner table. She hasn’t seen Conrad, her college professor, since she graduated, one of her first questions is to ask if he’s alive or dead. Conrad and Audrey clearly have an attraction and they guide the conversation along during the evening.
Jessica and Sabrina were best friends and flat mates but their lives took different paths. Jessica met her husband Sumir when they were at college, and he was always the one. She now lives a family life out of the city, and has recently become a mother. She’s juggling a very different life and their friendship has been a tad strained over the last few years.
Then there’s Tobias, the love of Sabrina’s life. They have had an intense relationship, where they thrive on their own company in a relationship that never seems t quite mature. Until one day when Tobias proposes, but everything goes wrong, they argue and decide to have a break. But will it be forever?
I don’t won’t to go into the storyline of The Dinner List in more detail or I’ll end up giving the plot line away. You want the couple to make their relationship work and for there to be a happy ending, but there are a few twists and turns along the way. Will everything be resolved by the time the clock strikes midnight?
I’ve found The Dinner List an enjoyable read, and I’ve wanted to see how the characters work together to bring the story to a close. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases and have included my purchasing link below for your reference.
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