The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I heard about this novel last month. It sounded great, because who hasn't made a "five people I'd invite for dinner" list before? The only thing that made me hesitate at first was the "magical realism" in the description.
It took me quite a while to get into this novel, and with school starting, my reading time was limited to evenings. However, I pushed through to finish it this weekend because it really captured me about halfway through.
Magical realism aside, I think more of what is needed is "willful suspension of disbelief." Maybe it really is more “magical realism” as the description states, because how else can you have the narrator's deceased father and Audrey Hepburn there? There is a revelation about halfway through that was a turning point for me: Do I press on and continue, or do I quit? That is how much it upset me. However, I persisted, pushed through, and finished. I'm glad I did.
The author's alternating chapter style really works. And after the first several chapters, the continual dialogue around the dinner table doesn't feel as forced or as dialogue-y as before. She does an amazing job of delving deep into these characters' motivations and desires.
I liked how the book made me think of romantic relationships, what is socially expected, what others expect of us, and what we expect of the other person in the relationship. Very interesting and I'll be pondering it for a while.
Thanks to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for an ebook review copy.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book on NetGalley for review. All opinions are my own.
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