The Dinner List| At a glance
Title: The Dinner List
Author: Rebecca Serle
Publisher: Flatiron Books on September 11, 2018
Genre: Magical Realism, Fiction, Romance, Fast Read
Goodreads Rating: 3.79 out of 5 Stars
The August book of the month options included the following:
The Dinner List
The Air you Breath
The Line that Held Us
Sweet Little Lies
Since August is generally the last official month of summer, I decided to go with something I thought would be a light and easy read, aka perfect for some poolside reading (even though I ended up reading this on a plane in a thunderstorm, Womp womp). Thus I chose The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle. On top of my main pick though, both The Line that Held Us and The Air You Breathe highly peaked my interest so I added them on as well. I know, I am weak when it comes to buying books, smh.
If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would you choose? 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 her idol 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.
In a very Cinderella approach, Sabrina has only until midnight to uncover the significance each of her dinner guests have played and are playing in her life. Serle is able to blend the perfect amount of romance and heartbreak into this novel. You will be left thinking about who you might invite to your next dinner party. Bon appetite!
While I normally lay out my pro’s and con’s separately, I figured I would lay all my thoughts together since this is such a short novel.
- First off, this is most definitely an easy read and while it took me a hot minute to become ‘invested’ into the story line, once I was I had to know more. I am not normally one for rom-com type story lines, but the added ‘fantasy’ aspect, of being able to bring someone back from the dead for one night, was the main selling point for me.
- The concept of meeting or having a dinner with anybody in the world, dead or alive, is something I feel most people have thought about in their life at some point or another. It’s a favorite question of mine for getting to know people, since I think you can really tell who a person is by who they surround themselves with. This is probably another reason I gravitated towards this pick.
- I really enjoy books that are thought provoking and I think this book really did that for me. While at the surface level this novel could certainly be classified as a rom-com, it made me linger on plenty of what-ifs. There was a period of time where my family experienced a decent amount of loses in a relatively short time, and just the idea of being able to have one last meal with some of those folks we lost hit a nerve for me. What would I say? What would I ask? What I wouldn’t give to tell some of them I miss them or for them to see who I have become. Dealing with loss and heartbreak was not something I thought I was about to jump into when I picked this book, but I feel that it gave the book a more realistic vibe.
- I have a ton of unanswered questions. We never fully learn how Sabrina gets to this dinner in the first place. Is there some underlying magic to the story we don’t know about? Is this all a dream she’s having? Or has she just completely lost it? I can certainly read between the lines, but I feel as if Serle has left out some vital information, because I definitely did not get enough closure from this book.
- I’ve already mentioned that this novel is more of a rom-com type story line, so I wasn’t expecting such serious topics to be covered in the book. While I can appreciate why the topics were brought up, I feel there is a little too many story lines going on at a time. There were one or two legit moments, I thought about just skipping to the end of the book to just see why we’re even at this dinner party in the first place
- Serle touches on some of the sadder aspects of Aubrey Hepburn. She makes Hepburn seem more real, with real loss, regrets, and sadness while also touching on some of her work outside the world of Hollywood. It’s interesting to see this painting of Hepburn and while I knew she had performed quite a bit of humanitarian work towards the end of her life. It was refreshing to hear more about the actual Aubrey Hepburn, outside of who she portrayed on the big screen.
- While I can get on board with inviting six very different people to dinner, there is one particular event which I think is just much to unrealistic. This seems odd to say, since some of the dinner party attendees are actually dead, but I’m not even sure Hallmark would go to this particular length to depict ‘fate’. I don’t want to spoil the story for you, so I will just leave it at that but know that I cannot get on board with this ‘fate’ event.
Overall, I think I would agree with the Goodreads rating of 3.79. I like the story line and the concept of this novel, but I feel it could have been so much more. Just a few more answers and I would have loved this book. But maybe that would ruin the magic, you be the judge.
Get the book here and let me know who you would pick to have dinner with!
What is Book of the Month?
For those who haven’t heard of Book of the Month club or BOTM, it is a subscription program, similar to audible or other box subscription services, where you get (you guessed it) a new book every month. Each month members are given 5 different books to choose from. BOTM generally focusing on debut and emerging writers, and is known for having helped launch the careers of some of the most acclaimed authors in American literary history. In an attempt to read more books outside my favorite genres without having to siphon through all the duds, I decided to sign up for the monthly subscriptions. It costs me $14.99 per month, I choose 1 of the 5 books on the first of every month, and it’s delivered straight to my door. You can skip any month or roll your credits over to the next month, at any time. Since I started getting BOTM back in February, I’ve really enjoyed some of the new authors I’ve been exposed to. I’ve enjoyed them so much, that I have decided to review each of the books I get every month, so be on the look out for reviews March – August, which are coming soon. If you’re interested in joining BOTM, I’ve add my referral code to the bottom of this post, which if you use, you’ll be able to get your first month (book) free!
Interested in joining Book of the Month? Get a free book when you join using my referral link.