Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Review: The Dinner List - Rebecca Serle

The Dinner List
by Rebecca Serle
Published: September 11, 2018
Genre: Fiction

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.

4.5 Stars

The Dinner List is an imaginative, heart-wrenching tale that asks its narrator, Sabrina, if she could invite five people to dinner who would it be? Her list consists of her father, her best friend, her boyfriend, an old college professor, and Audrey Hepburn. When Sabrina arrives at her thirtieth birthday dinner she is surprised to find that it isn't just her best friend Jessica in attendance. There is tension at the table though, as it is revealed there is a purpose behind the special guests being there. Rebecca Serle explores personal growth, forgiveness, and acceptance as the dinner progresses from simple topics to those that weigh Sabrina down daily.

We've all pondered over this question at some point in our life; would we pick someone famous or maybe someone we had lost? For Sabrina, she selects those she knows and loves, someone she wants to know, someone she wants to learn more from, and a woman she idolizes and connects to many important parts of her life. The story begins at the table, with alternating chapters taking us back into Sabrina's past. We learn about her friendships, her relationships, and the events that lead to the dinner. It's a sentimental tale, one where we see Sabrina grow and accept that she must both forgive others and forgive herself if she is to ever succeed going forward. I loved how the story was crafted, directing large moments in Sabrina's life and revealing to us the impact those events had on her and on others. It's imaginative, a story that I know has been done in the past, but has not left such a lasting impact on me. It's also incredibly sentimental, this feeling of wanting someone or something, being able to touch it, but knowing it isn't tangible once the dinner is over.

This sounds sort of odd, considering I did give 4.5 Stars and not 5 Stars, but The Dinner List is a novel that NEEDS to be on your TBR list. I wasn't engaged the first 40% of the novel, I struggled to want to continue reading and I admit the only thing that kept me reading was the other reviews I had seen. Then came the nitty-gritty, deep part of the novel and I was done for. Once the story picked up I was turning the pages so quickly and trying to get every bit out of this novel I could. With tears streaming down my face and my heart aching I finished this novel in love with it. I highlighted so many passages and have thought of it several times since finishing it a few days ago. It's a fantastic chick-lit novel, with main character, Sabrina, questioning life, love, and the future she must create for herself.

Post a Comment

© Carlene Inspired. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.