The Dinner List By Rebecca Serle
October 30, 2018
Dear Mr. Hemingway,
I am going to get right to the question of the day. If you could invite five people to dinner, living or dead, who would you choose? Think of how many stories can come from a dinner party crafted by this one crazy list. Well, I am happy to say that Rebecca Serle took this question and put into words, one dinner party scenario that readers will never forget. You are going to want to go get yourself a copy of her new book, The Dinner List, ASAP.
When Serle’s lead character Sabrina was in college, her BFF Jessica, asked her to write down the five people she would invite to dinner if given the chance. Sabrina wrote her list, then gently tossed it aside. Years later, her life changed forever on her 30th birthday. As she walked into a restaurant with Jessica to celebrate, she was shocked to be greeted by the five people on the list she wrote many moons ago. Jessica, Sabrina’s father, a beloved college professor, the famous Audrey Hepburn (I am not kidding), and Tobias (the love of her life) were all seated at the table eagerly waiting for Sabrina.
The structure of Serle’s book is wonderful. The chapters alternate between the present day dinner party and Sabrina’s past. Readers get an in-depth look at her love story with Tobias and how the other people on her list influenced and shaped her story (Hello Audrey). I loved how at first it was difficult to know which characters on Sabrina’s list were living or dead. However, after sitting at this dinner table long enough, it became very apparent who was walking home at the end of the night and who was going elsewhere.
Sabrina’s conversations with her dinner companions were tender and complex. The actual dinner party itself had a celestial charm that felt real and dreamlike all at the same time. The clock is ticking during Sabrina’s evening. It was hard as a reader not to feel a sense of urgency and sadness as the time moved closer to midnight. Sabrina has a lot of ground to cover with the people around her before the clock strikes twelve. Will there be enough time for all her questions to be answered? How on Earth will this end?
The Dinner List was a quick and easy-going read filled with lots of emotion. I was playing around with my own list in the back of my mind as I flipped each page of the book. We all have different stories to tell. Questions go unanswered and we are constantly on the hunt for closure in order to move on. People we do not know personally can easily add dimension to our own lives by simply being in our space at the right time. As you read Serle’s story, it’s impossible not to think of your own relationships and how they may or may not impact your journey. I truly believe that Rebecca Serle is inviting us all to come up with our own dinner guest list. You may need tissue from time to time to blot your eyes, but I think everyone can handle it. At the end of the day, who wouldn’t want to make that once in a lifetime dinner reservation.
Your Biggest Fan,
P.S. Audrey Hepburn’s real name was Audrey Kathleen Ruston.
She is one out of twelve people to have won an Academy, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony award. She also was soooooooooooooooo pretty!